"In theory, there is no difference between practice and theory. In practice, there is." – Yogi Berra The CNSI Innovation Workshop – a makerspace facility – is now open in Elings Hall, envisioned as a resource to both local startups as well as the campus community. The Innovation Workshop enables innovators from UCSB and local companies to build and test prototypes their inventions. As not all ideas work, nor are all workable ideas practical or have the desired impact in solving important problems, the best way to develop ideas into impactful innovations is build, test, and persistently improve them. Thus the goal of the CNSI Innovation Workshop is to be a resource to address this stage of business development.
The Workshop fills a vital gap in campus resources: a place where any innovator can fabricate and test their ideas using tools that are well-suited for beginners. The tools in the student machine shop and cleanroom require extensive training and experience in order to make useful parts. This presents a barrier to new inventors. Having a first prototype in-hand to test can provide the motivation to learn to use the other labs.
3D printers, a laser cutter, and a CNC router – all with easy to learn user interfaces – make up the core tools in the Innovation Workshop. We have also included a workbench for assembling and testing electronic circuits, and one for programming and testing microcontroller-based machines. Hand tools for mechanical, electronic and plumbing assembly are also planned.
Contact: Dave Bothman
UCSB is also home to a number of world-class laboratory facilities where equipment is available for use by industrial researchers from start-ups, small businesses, and large companies.