A new piece of equipment is being added to the McMahon 8 Community Center. The ShopBot CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine is an advanced do-it-all tool for cutting, carving, drilling or machining a wide range of materials. Purchase is made possible thanks to a $53,000 grant from the Student Technology Fee Committee, which funds technology projects from monies generated by a tech fee assessed to students.
The grant application was a group effort between DXArts (Department of Digital Art and Experimental Media) and HFS Perks and Rec., with Derrick Van Kirk, Instructional Shop Technician, writing the balance of the proposal.
Since the tool will be housed at the community center in McMahon, a wider of students will have access to the ShopBot. “This piece of equipment will do wonders for our program,” said Derrick, who has been involved with the program since 2015. He started in the Dabble Lab, built The MILL and McMahon and now manages the spaces with the other Perks and Rec Professional
and Student staff members.
The McMahon 8 woodshop is located in the downstairs, repurposed kitchen area recalling the days when McMahon 8 was a residence hall dining facility.
According to Derrick, the ShopBot was specifically chosen based on student feedback from users of the space, DXARTS students, and Engineering Registered Student Organization (RSO) team members who believe that having access to this machine would enhance their academic and co-curricular experience.
“We plan on testing out the machine and developing standard operating procedures, training and workshop curriculum over the summer. We will begin offering workshops to all UW students beginning fall quarter," added Derrick.
As Derrick wrote in the proposal, “Students who learn the ShopBot have the potential to produce professional-quality CNC portfolios to share with potential employers or even start
their own business.”