Maker Commons

Rapid prototyping, 3D printing, and design thinking unite to enhance the teaching and learning experience.

Successful 3D prints in the 2017-18 academic year

Students used the Invention Studio for prototyping

Encouraging a Maker Mindset

Much in the same way that ingredients come together to create a meal, there are a number of elements that join together to create the maker mindset. Sources tend to agree, however, that the maker mindset is primarily defined by embracing the process of bringing ideas to life. Maker Commons provides Penn Staters with a way to brainstorm, test, and ultimately coax their ideas into existence.

With access to 3D printing services and the Invention Studio, Penn State students are able to immerse themselves in what it means to be a maker. Hands-on experience with state-of-the-art technology allows for coursework and projects that develop essential skills – such as critical thinking and collaboration – for success in a rapidly changing professional world. The entire maker process from ideation to completion also demonstrates to students how their ideas can impact the world around them.

Open access to 3D printing services allows any member of the Penn State community at any campus to print on-demand. Maker Commons can accommodate approximately 3,200 3D print requests each semester. 3D printing projects should be registered early in the semester to ensure that students can print their course assignment or project. Register your project today!

From their earliest stages through full realization, ideas go through various iterations and changes. The Invention Studio allows students’ ideas to evolve thanks to rapid prototyping technologies like littleBits, LEGO, Philips HUE, Arduino, Raspberry Pi and more.

We’d be thrilled to talk with you about ideas for a prototyping or 3D printing project!

Explore Other Learning Spaces Projects


Cutting-edge digital displays, interactive technologies, and moveable furniture join together in 101 Althouse Laboratory to create an experimental classroom where innovation and excellence meet.

Shared Experiences Lab

A unique learning space that enriches the classroom experience by connecting people through innovative technology.

The Dreamery

A co-learning laboratory where Penn Staters can explore emerging technology’s potential to transform

Let's Work Together

Maker Commons projects can enhance your courses by encouraging students to look at problems and prompts in a different way. We would love to discuss your ideas with you!
Contact Us