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Maker Spaces

What is a Maker Space?

A maker space has myriad definitions as it has myriad uses. Simply put, a maker space is a location that has been designed to support student collaboration, creativity, and development of products that contribute to their learning. Maker spaces look differently and contain different tools for different disciplines, but they are conceptually the same. These spaces are designed to give students space and permission to create and, even if they are constrained by discipline-specific tools, they still provide a safe and collaborative learning environment for all students to design, build, and test their ideas.

Open Access Spaces

These on-campus spaces are open to all students, regardless of major, and are housed in Newman Library and Bishop-Favaro Hall. Please visit the sites linked below for information regarding hours of availability, available software and tools, trainings required prior to use, assistance provided, and registration/scheduling. Note: University Libraries is revamping some spaces/services, so some pages may still need updating.

  • Location: Newman Library
  • Managed by: University Libraries
  • The 3D Scanning Studio offers high precision 3D scanning services to the University.  
  • Location: Bishop-Favaro Hall
  • Managed by: Department of Building Construction and Myers-Lawson School of Construction
  • Available to: All students who complete required training

The Build Lab is a venture launched by The Department of Building Construction and the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech. The lab features a more or less complete hodge-podge of equipment and tools with a material focus on wood and composites. Also, the lab features a substantial component of computer-controlled machines in the vein of the 'Fab-Lab' concept. Please check the Build Lab website for time limitations and other requirements (such as bringing own material).

  • Location: Newman Library
  • Managed by: University Libraries

The Data Consulting Lab supports the analysis, curation, sharing, and archiving of data. The lab offers consultations and a bookable space with hardware and software for patrons to work on data visualization projects.

  • Location: Newman Library
  • Managed by: University Libraries

The Fusion Studio offers long term project space and funding for groups of students who want to pursue class or independent projects.

  • Location: Newman Library
  • Managed by: University Libraries

Media Recording Studio, formerly Media Design Studio B, contains a recording book, mixing stations, and video recording with green screen designed to help patrons record high quality audio or video projects.

  • Location: Newman Library
  • Managed by: University Libraries

Prototyping Studio is a new space for Fall 2021. The Prototyping Studio is absorbing the 3D Design Studio, and will handle 3D printing, electronics, laser cutting, vacuum forming, CNC, and other hand tool based work.

  • Location: Newman Library
  • Managed by: University Libraries

Studios Technology Lending Desk, formerly Media Design Studio A, houses University Libraries' technology and equipment lending service. Hundreds of pieces of equipment from simple laptops to high end research equipment to board games are available for loan.

  • Location: Newman Library
  • Managed by: University Libraries

Virtual Environments Studio is a series of three spaces that consists of a computer lab for developing VR/AR experiences, a testing space for trying out VR projects, and an advanced space that can handle large room scale tracking, volumetric capture, motion capture, mixed reality recording, and spatial audio.

Restricted Access Maker Spaces

These spaces, while on campus, are restricted to specific majors, living learning communities, or project participants. Please visit each space's website to learn more.

  • Location: 501 Industrial Park Road
  • Managed by: College of Engineering
  • Available to: Students of all majors who are participating on one of the 10 competition teams housed in the lab

The Advanced Engineering Design Lab (AEDL) is a new facility that consists of 6,500 square feet of space. Students from all majors can participate in ten competition teams housed within the lab: 3D Printed Aircraft Team, inVenTs Rocketry, Mars Madness, NASA Student Launch Initiative, Orbital Launch Vehicle Team, Rocketry@VT, RockSAT-X@VT, SEDs Rocketry, VT Mars Ice Challenge, and the Wind Turbine Team.

The Innovation and Design Laboratory provides a making and learning space focused on the design and prototyping of packaging systems.  Equipment allows the production of novel structural and graphic packaging components using a variety of materials.  In addition, the laboratory supports the entrepreneurial activities of the VT Wood Enterprise Institute.  Nearby wood and metal fabrication shops support work in the Innovation and Design Laboratory.


  • 3D printing
  • Vacuum thermoforming
  • Precision line bar cutting
  • Large format digital printing
  • RanPak brand Geami and PadPak machines
  • Hot-wire foam cutting
  • Polymer bending and sealing
  • Computer-Aided Manufacturing sample cutting/creasing
  • CNC routing/manufacturing
  • Laser cutting/engraving
  • Eye-Tracking for consumer experience evaluation
  • Hot melt gluing
  • Various hand tools
  • Location: New CID Residence Hall
  • Managed by: Student Affairs - Housing and Residence Life
  • Available to: Students living in the Innovate, Studio 72, and Rhizome Living Learning Communities

The new CID Residence Hall, which opens in 2021-22, hosts a maker space for students living in one of the three living learning communities housed there.

  • Location: Cowgill Hall, Burchard Hall, and off campus - Prices Fork Road
  • Managed by: School of Architecture + Design
  • Available to: School of Architecture + Design students

The School of Architecure + Design manages several fabrication labs for wood, metal, cermaics, plaster, graphics, and computer/digital media. While Cowgill Hall and Burchard Hall host most of these spaces, the off campus Research + Demonstration Facility is also available for architecture and design students.

  • Location: FBRI in Roanoke
  • Managed by: University Libraries
  • Available to: serves the FBRI community in Roanoke

In addition to an open work space and a small consultation room, the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute Health Sciences and Technology Library provides biomedical researchers and students with access to a variety of technology to support their collaboration, research and experiential learning needs.

  • Location: Squires Hall
  • Managed by: Honors College
  • Available to: Honors College students

The Honors College SuperStudio initiative builds upon these practices to help students engage in the kinds of transdisciplinary and massively-collaborative work they will need to employ as professionals and citizens to address critical 21st century issues.  The SuperStudio concept thus brings together — in one space — multiple advanced courses, each of which focus on a different critical aspect of a complex global challenge, and all of which work together toward possible coordinated solutions.

  • Location: Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology in Moss Arts Center
  • Managed by: ICAT
  • Available to: Students and faculty involved in ICAT projects

ICAT has a variety of studio spaces available for approved projects.

  • Location: 2nd floor of Hoge Hall
  • Managed by: Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED)
  • Available to: Students in the Hypatia and Galileo (Galipatia) living learning communities

The inVenTs Studios were created in 2011 on the 2nd floor of Hoge Hall. These spaces were created to give students the opportunity to create and solve engineering and science problems within their residence hall. 

Studio 1 is the space that provides tools, equipment and resources to create and build project prototypes, inventions, team projects and improve their skill set with hands-on experiences. 

Studio 2 is the space to polish a presentation about your solution, idea or project. A mediascape center is housed in this space to assist with collaborative work. The upper-class leaders in the community also use this space for homework help sessions and professional development events provided for the first year students. 

  • Location: Burchard Hall
  • Managed by: Industrial Design
  • Available to: Industrial Design students

MAD Lab is a student run shop located in Burchard Hall and will serve as a prototyping space for Industrial Design Students. The goal of the lab is to create a community where students have hands on experiences with faculty and their peers to better develop their prototyping skills as designers.

  • Location: Northern Virginia Center, Falls Church
  • Managed by: University Libraries
  • Available to: NCR students and faculty

The Northern Virginia Center Studio serves the students and faculty in the Northern Capital Region, has some 3D printers, collaboration spaces, VR equipment, and does some technology lending.

  • Location: Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Managed by: University Libraries
  • Available to: Veterinary medicine students at VMCVM

The Vet Med Studio located in the VMCVM Library provides access to 3D printing and VR services for vet med students.

  • Location: Military Building 203
  • Managed by: College of Engineering
  • Available to: College of Engineering students who complete required training

The Ware Lab houses undergraduate design projects in the College of Engineering where students sharpen theoretical and computational skills learned in the classroom by working on challenging, viable engineering projects.

Blacksburg Maker Spaces (Off-Campus)

Off-campus maker spaces exist and are open to anyone for a fee. Please see below for more information.

Started in 2014, Hacksburg is Blacksburg’s first makerspace. It is "a community workshop focused on enabling members of the Blacksburg community to complete projects that would otherwise be out of reach." Hacksburg is located in the Corporate Research Center at 1872 Pratt Drive, Suite 1620.