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Aims Community Lab Hosts Open House Events April 8-12

Aims Community College is hosting a weeklong open house and celebration of its Community Lab, a makerspace that is free and open to the public. 

Students working in the community lab at Aims

The Community Lab is a place to learn about technology and work on personal or academic projects. Visitors can explore craftwork, 3D printing, sewing, mold-making, and more. The Community Lab is located in the Applied Technology and Trades Center (ATTC), 5015 W. 20th Street on the Greeley Campus. 

Everyone is welcome to join Aims for the open house from April 8 through 12 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Special activities and demonstrations are scheduled: 

  • Using a Laser Cutter| Monday | 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. 
  • Learning How to use a Cricut Cutter |Tuesday | noon - 1 p.m. 
  • Soldering Demonstration | Wednesday | 1 - 2 p.m.
  • 3D Printing Demo | Thursday | 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. 
  • Sewing Bean Bags for Cornhole Games | Friday | 1:30 - 3 p.m. 

Aims Community Lab

The Community Lab was first established in the fall of 2017 with the opening of the ATTC. The mission of the facility is to support academics as a space for hands-on, collaborative learning and to help our neighbors bring their ideas to reality. Aims maintains this space where people can explore, expand, and discover elements of design, small-scale fabrication, electronics, craftwork, and more. Our rotating staff of experts and hobbyists can help answer questions and operate equipment. 

“The Community Lab is important because it provides an outlet for people to come in and explore their ideas and learn about available technologies,” said Industrial Technology Department Chair and Instructor Dave Sordi. 

Students from Aims and other schools use the lab to work on assignments for their classes, such as building a model for a diorama, printing large-scale posters, and producing elements of a multimedia art project.  Schools connect with the lab to find help with community projects such as creating blades for windmills. “The coolest thing that we did was a statue of Galadriel from Lord of the Rings,” Sordi said. “It was made in multiple pieces and then put together."

Community members use the lab as well. One example is a person who broke a part of a drone. The lab was able to use the 3D printer to replace the part and was able to fix the drone without having to go back to the manufacturer. “That was pretty cool because that’s exactly what we’re all about here,” Sordi said. 

Tyler Smith is a student who works in the lab. He spends most of his time in the Community Lab, either working on his own projects or helping others with theirs. “I provide guidance by showing them how to use software and set things up.”  He says, “It’s up to them if they want to follow along and learn what I’m doing."

Smith recalls helping a ten-year-old girl who was creating scorpion figures. “She was so smart. I felt like I was explaining more to her mom than the little girl. It was so much fun having her in.”

Aiden Cranwell, an Aims student, used the lab before he started working there. When he saw an opening for a student employee, he jumped because he knew it would be “an awesome place to work.” Aiden enjoys the creative problem-solving aspect of the job and takes pride in the lab’s tools and facilities. “I like fixing things here,” he said. 

Another thing that Aiden likes is helping visitors with their projects. He recalls a time when a man who was in competitive archery came into the Community Lab. The visitor had hand-whittled a grip for a bow. Aiden worked with the gentleman to create a few 3D-printed copies for him to use.  “That was a really cool project,” he said. 

Sordi wants to keep expanding the Community Lab and add more equipment in the future. “There are a lot of other types of hobbies, and we want to provide the equipment available for use.”

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