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person operating a laser cutter
Sophomore computer engineering major Andrea Murillo Martinez demonstrates how to operate a laser cutter in the FabLab.

Engineering students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa are making it easier for their peers to utilize resources such as 3D printers and laser cutters offered by the College of Engineering.

A group of students launched a YouTube series in fall 2023 featuring tutorial videos on how to use the different machines and software in the college’s FabLab—a maker space designed for students to fabricate their designs. Under the guidance of Scientific Instrument Technician Martin Pepper, the lab’s student monitors designed, scripted and filmed the videos. Eight videos have been posted so far, with more in the works for spring 2024.

See the FabLab YouTube channel

“The FabLab YouTube channel is an awesome way for this student-run resource to reach a much broader audience, not just helping students across the College of Engineering at the University of Hawaiʻi, but even globally,” Pepper said.

Makana Onzuka is one of the hosts and helps to produce the videos. The senior mechanical engineering major started his college career during the COVID-19 pandemic and wasn’t aware of these resources until his last two years.

“It is very important to be able to reach as many engineering students as possible because it will encourage them to start learning these fun and creative equipment while also opening possible pathways for their future,” Onzuka said.

Sophomore computer engineering major Andrea Murillo Martinez is also a host and producer, and electrical engineering PhD candidate Jie Zhou helps to oversee the production of the videos.

“I believe that every engineering student should use the FabLab, since it’s not only a space they’re paying for with the engineering fee, but it gives them the opportunity to make their projects and ideas,” Murillo Martinez said.

In addition to producing the tutorial videos, FabLab student monitors teach other students how to properly use the equipment and software. In fall 2023, with support from the Engineering Student Ambassador program, they hosted a Bytes & Bites event where students were invited to the FabLab to work on a 3D printed project while enjoying refreshments and making new friends.

The FabLab is located in Holmes Hall 448/449 and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the FabLab website.

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