This content was published: March 2, 2020. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.
Sylvania’s MakerLab is a hub for rapid prototyping courses for the community
Photos and Story by Sarah Rose Evans
The Portland Community College MakerLab at the Sylvania Campus is a large space, full of cool machines and tools. From 3D printers, vinyl and laser cutters to sewing machines, the MakerLab is where you can turn plans into reality.
As the MakerLab Coordinator, Amy Petit leads and facilitates the use of the space, teaching classes and camps. She works with students and the college community to print or cut both pre-designed projects and projects from scratch.
“My favorite part of the job is giving tours, because I can help people see how the equipment works and how easy it is to get started,” Petit beamed.
The MakerLab is available for students, staff, and faculty during open lab hours. The community can access it as well, through a slate of Community Education Program classes. Petit teaches three courses open to the public as non-credit offerings that involve laser and vinyl cutting or using the lab’s 3D machines.
- This is an interdisciplinary space located at the Sylvania Campus where PCC students, staff, faculty or the public can develop, create and share ideas.
- The MakerLab has 3D printers, vinyl cutters, sewing machines, laser cutters, vacuum forming, sheet metal equipment and hand tools at the ready.
These are fairly new, but Petit said, “I’m excited to see how much interest and enthusiasm there are for these classes.”
Petit’s most recent class was “Laser Cutting: Holiday Edition,” in which students designed their own snowflake ornaments and made a garland of stars, each laser-cut from thin sheets of wood. And, her students used her assistance to work on their own personal design projects. In previous classes, students have made decorative lantern candle holders that project stars onto walls when lit.
This winter, Petit is teaching a “Laser Cutting: Jewelry” class where students are making necklaces, pendants and earrings out of wood and acrylic. She also led a vinyl cutting class where students made custom stickers, stencils and t-shirt designs. This spring, PCC’s Community Ed Program and Petit will host three classes at the Sylvania MakerLab — “3D Printing for Beginners,” “Vinyl Cutting: Introduction,” and “Laser Cutting: Introduction.”
In addition to Petit’s work, other instructors will host similar classes at PCC’s Cascade Campus FabLab in North Portland.
Petit has worked at the college for almost nine years. With experience in graphic design, a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and a master’s in Sculpture, she is all about combining disciplines to create amazing projects.
“This space is open to all areas,” she said. “It is vital. People from different disciplines are able to work together, which makes it a rich environment for learning.”
To sign up for these or other maker classes at PCC, visit the college’s Community Education program website to explore.