Located on the first floor of the new Lassonde Studios next to the prototyping room, the project and tool storage room features several tall wire racks filled with shiny new equipment. This tool room (along with the rest of the makerspace) is a quiet place — for now. Soon, however, the Lassonde staff hopes that it will be busy, energetic and filled with the noise of a workshop in full swing.
Aspiring entrepreneur or not, chances are you’ve needed (or will need!) access to tools during your time at the University of Utah. Whether you’re assembling a bookshelf, drilling a bigger hole in your desk to hide your many cables, or inventing a new widget that makes life easier, the Lassonde Studios project and tool storage room has got you covered. The tool room has everything from basic tools like hammers, pliers and cordless drills, to less common ones like sewing machines, soldering irons and die cut machines.
Every U student has easy, free access to all the tools and supplies in the tool room. All you need is your university ID card and a project to work on, and you’re in business. But surrounded by all the bright new tools, students can feel a bit like a child in a toy store, overwhelmed by all the options. It can make it hard to know where to start. That’s where the tool mentors, who oversees the site, can step in. You’ll find tool mentor wearing a deep green apron with “Make” stamped across the front. These mentors can assist you in selecting the proper tools you’ll need and helping you check them out with your ID card.
Students are welcome to check out most tools for 2-3 days before bringing them back. But as one tool mentor observed, “most students like to just chill in the makerspace with their projects.” Of course, whether you choose to stay in the makerspace with your project or take the tools back to your dorm depends entirely on you and your project.
The tool room is continuing to evolve, and the Lassonde Institute is interested in hearing student ideas. If there is a tool that you need that is not currently in the tool room, you can let them know! Speak to a tool mentor or write your idea down on the conveniently located clipboard inside the tool room. The Lassonde Institute will consider all students suggestions — and your recommendation could be the next addition to the tool room.
So next time you’ve got a couple minutes between classes, stop by the Lassonde Studios and check out all the shiny new tool. Remember to bring your ideas — and get building!
Tools and Toys Available for Checkout
Much of the equipment available in the tool room includes basic tools most students will be familiar with, even if they don’t have access to them at home. A few tools in the tool room, however, may surprise you! And remember, the tool room is constantly evolving and getting new tools – so keep visiting to find out more!
Basic Hand Tools: These tools include cordless drills, pliers, hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers, clamps, hand-held staple guns, chisels and vice grips.
Sewing: For those interested in making their own clothes, machined embroidery, quilt making, or other projects that involve cloth, there are sewing machines, various basic sewing supplies and an iron.
Paper Cutting: For your paper cutting needs there is a 12-inch paper trimmer, AccuCut cutting machine (with large, small, uppercase and lowercase letter dies), and a Cameo electronic cutting tool. The Cameo cutting tool is particularly versatile — it can also cut vinyl and fabric up to 12-inch wide and allows you to create custom cuts.
Electronics: For those interested in electronics, there are multimeters, oscilloscopes, BK Precision power supplies and soldering stations (which include an adjustable temperature power supply, soldering pencil, soldering pencil stand and sponge holder, various sizes of soldering tips, and solder).
Expendable Supplies: In addition to everything mentioned above, the tool room also has wood glue, duct tape, cutting oil, sandpaper, PVC cement, hot glue guns, rubber gloves and eye protection available for student use.
With all those supplies available, there’s no excuse not to get to work and start building!