Annual Maker Takeover showcases cutting-edge projects 

The Maker Hub's biggest show-and-tell of the year featured more than 40 innovative projects created by students and faculty.

When first-year student Jason Donnald saw an innovative longboard design on Instagram, he sought help from the Maker Hub in creating a similar design. 

“My project is a longboard with a piece of acrylic in the back of it with LED lights under it,” said Donnald, a theatre design and technology major from Whitsett, N.C. “It was a very cool concept.”

Donnald was one of more than 40 students and faculty who showcased their cutting-edge projects at the third annual Maker Takeover on May 1 in Moseley Center.

Sponsored by the Maker Hub, the event offered the Elon community an opportunity to explore the inventive ideas-turned-products of Elon students and faculty. Among those featured were 2019 Kickbox winners from winter term and spring semester.

“Maker Takeover is the biggest show-and-tell of the year,” said Instructional Technologist Dan Reis. “The event continues to grow each year and features a variety of interesting things for the community to see and do.”

Attendees spoke with makers to hear the inspiration behind their projects, engaged in hands-on exploration and experimented with virtual reality and other tools commonly used in Elon’s makerspaces. 

​Technology featured at the Maker Takeover event included 3D printing, virtual reality, robotics, wearable technology, laser engraving, a cooking demonstration and more. In addition, the event offered attendees free cupcakes and a chance to win a custom Maker Hub keychain, made with wood from a fallen Elon oak tree.

Assistant Professor of Biology Eric Bauer exhibited his project, which involved scanning anatomical objects, then loading those files on the internet for online viewing and 3D printing.  

“My starting goal was to provide students with a way to study bones outside of class/lab times,” he said. “I started with human bones that we use in anatomy lab and have been slowly adding bones from a wide variety of animals for use by the biology and environmental sciences departments’ comparative anatomy courses.”

This was Bauer’s second Maker Takeover event. 

“I enjoy showing the potential of 3D scanning technology in the biological and medical sciences,” he said. “I also enjoy sparking ideas for collaborations across campus. Just this year, I helped with a theater production by scanning in an object that was then going to be digitally manipulated into a massive stage prop.”

​Associate Professor of Performing Arts Natalie Hart displayed a large table that she made for the Department of Performing Arts’ production of Arcadia.

The challenge of finding the right table at the right cost for the production led Hart to explore an alternative solution.

“We decided to build it,” she said. “I chose the Jacobean style because it is heavy and masculine and contrasts with the Georgian architecture. It looks like the table was in the family before they had this house.”

For the table, Hart turned the legs on a lathe, Technical Director J.P. Mullican joined the boards for the top, then the two worked together on the mortice and tenon joints. The design allows the table to easily break apart for moving and storage.

Hart, who exhibited last year, said before the event that she was looking forward to what’s in store at this year’s event. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing the wonderful variety of projects from our community, showing off work from my student and showing people how we use tools to create objects with meaning,” she said.

Visit the Maker Hub website for more information about Maker Takeover, makerspaces on campus, the Kickbox program and more.