New at OSML: The Maker Experience!

Ellen Hendricks

Open Source Maker Labs has just come out with a new product: the Maker Experience!

For someone who has little to no experience with making, this is an excellent introduction. The Maker Experience is a guided experience tour through our lab, where we give participants a very brief introductory course in each section of the lab. We want to encourage people to gain confidence with making, as it teaches us how to approach problems effectively and contributes to innovation.

Odoo image and text block


For more experienced makers, this allows them to see if OSML has the tools they want to use. If  participants are more familiar with one aspect of making and less familiar with others, this allows them to branch out and explore other sections of the lab and of making itself. They may find a new sector to enjoy!

No matter your area or level of experience, the Maker Experience serves all who want to explore the possibilities of making.

We developed introduction modules for each of our workshop areas, based on certain skills which are widely applicable and which can also be improved with further practice and skill-building classes available at the lab.  For example, the first stop in the Maker Experience is at the design studio, so we thought about how someone might turn a design they have in their head into a computer drawing that can then be pulled through the prototyping process completely – from idea to computer design to actual prototype in either plastic, metal, or wood.  SketchUp is a great design tool for this, since it can be used with our 3D printer and CNC machines.

The next stop in the Maker Experience is into the world of Arduinos for a quick lesson in coding. We’ll also demonstrate some over-the-top possibilities for those who would like to further their knowledge of this very versatile and compact computer processor.

Since we are all about hands-on experience, the next three stops in the Maker Experience are Make and Take projects, where you can practice your soldering skills, print your SketchUp design on the 3D printer, and watch the laser cutter go to work.


Odoo text and image block
Odoo image and text block


For the welding portion of the Maker Experience, we wanted to let you see and feel how it is in the welder’s world.  You’ll put on all the safety gear and observe your guide demonstrate a welding project.


The final portion of your Maker Experience puts you in the driver’s seat of our cupcake car. These one-of-a-kind vehicles feature prominently at Maker Faires across the globe, and we made one right here.  Community members learned to design, prototype, saw, drill, weld, cut and bend sheet metal, and hack a scooter to complete this project.  Feel the wind and frosting in your hair!  There are no bad days when you are driving a cupcake car . .  .

Experience what it’s like to be a real maker! For more information or to schedule your Maker Experience, contact us at