ProtoWorks holds regular workshops and making competitions, where you will be able to make some cool things with the guidance of our Guardians. Check out some of our events held during Academic Year 2016-2017. New workshops and competitions will be announced soon; stay tuned.

Please note: these are for people who have already been trained to be users in ProtoWorks ONLY.  You must be trained both as a user (general orientation) and in the specific machine being used.  See our training schedule and sign up now to ensure you are a member prior to these events.

Making Competitions:

There are three making competitions running at the same time, with a final presentation day on Friday, 5/19/2017 at 4pm at the Martin Trust Center.  We provide the materials, you explore and make.  You may only choose one event in which to compete, and must be trained in the relevant machines prior to joining.  Options are:
  • Laser cutter: you will be given a sheet of material (and a practice sheet) and tasked with building the tallest free-standing structure
  • Bench tools: you are given a block of wood (and optional wheels/axles), and tasked with making a children's toy
  • 3D printing: you may design and build a storage solution 

Winners of each competition will receive a Maker Trophy and a quadcopter.

Rules for 3D Printing competition, build a storage solution:

Design and 3D print a solution for storing the 3D printing tools (scraper, USB sticks, flush cutters) that may fit between the two Sindoh’s.  

The rules:

1. Your build must take a maximum of 4 hours, and must be completed before the start of the competition.

2.  Parts may only be finished after a build through support material removal and/or sanding.  No additional materials or assembly materials may be used: no glue, solvents, etc – just the 3D printer plastic.

4. You will be able to work on your storage solution at any time from the announcement of the competition (now) until the competition start.

5. The judges will rate in terms of three categories: innovation, functionality and aesthetics. Innovation may include aspects such as including interlocking parts.


Rules for Bench and Hand Tools competition, “Make a kid toy!”:

Design, build the parts and assemble any toy that you can think of, appropriate and fun for a 3 year-old kid. You may pick up a kit of materials anytime that ProtoWorks is open and the judging and competition will be on Friday 5/19 at 4pm at the Martin Trust Center.

The rules:

1. You will be provided a wooden block, plus optional wooden wheels, axle pegs and dowels.

2. You can modify any of the provided pieces with any hand and bench tools from the shop.

3. The parts can be assembled using available means (coupling, glue).

4. You will be able to work on your toy at any time from picking up the supplies until the competition start.

5. The judges will rate in terms of three categories: innovation, functionality and aesthetics.


Rules for Laser Cutting competition, build the tallest tower:

Design, cut, and assemble the tallest possible free-standing tower using the sheet of acrylic provided. 

The rules:

1.  You cut your designs/parts only from a 6"x12" sheet of 1/4" thick clear acrylic that will be provided.  You will be given two sheets – one for practice and one for your final design.

2.  Nothing can be used to assemble the tower other than the acrylic you are provided: no glue, solvents, etc -- nothing but that chunk of plastic.

3. You may sand/file the parts to make them fit better.

4. You can cut the material whenever you'd like, but assembly must occur live, during the event. You are allowed to practice assembly before hand, but you must bring your parts completely disassembled to the competition.

5. Your tower must stand for 5 minutes before being considered "official."

Winners will receive a laser cut trophy and drone.


Thursday 4/20/2017 - Arduino - photoresistor based security alarm

Sign up here

Tuesday 4/25/2017 - Paper Circuits - make a card or poster with lights

Wednesday 5/3 - Laser Cut Door Hangers

You must have attended a ProtoWorks laser cutter training in addition to orientation prior to signing up

Sign up here


Previous Workshops:

Jewelry - Laser Cut and 3D Printed 


Laser Cut Coasters