StingerStudio Makerspace opens a new niche for creativity

Students can use 3D printers, sewing machines and a VR headset


Alyssa Branum

Jasmine Gomez is part of the staff for the StingerStudio makerspace and was hired a few weeks prior to Oct. 6, 2022. The StingerStudio makerspace trains all of their staff to use every machine in the space.

Raymond Purscell

3D printers buzz in a room on the University Library’s first floor as students let their creative minds work in the new StingerStudio Makerspace.

The StingerStudio Makerspace resides on the library’s first floor in room 1522. Upon entering the room, students are invited to utilize any of the machines to create anything their heart may desire. 

Examples of the students’ 3D printer work on a table next to the printers on Oct. 6, 2022. The designs the printer can create are detailed and intricate. (Alyssa Branum)

These machines include multiple 3D printers, a vinyl cutter, a VR headset, a laser cutter for precise paper and woodcuts, a digital sewing machine and more. 

The makerspace has been five years in the making, according to Preston Tobery, the StingerStudio coordinator. That includes the years its production was stalled by COVID-19. The space is now fully open and free for any students or faculty,  open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday—Friday, but closed on Wednesday.

Jesus Davila, a junior English major, stopped into the StingerStudio Makerspace on Thursday to 3D print a small piece of armor for a figurine he was creating. Once the piece had finished printing, he removed it from the 3D printer, noting that he planned on painting it later. 

“The amount of variety and stuff they can do here is quite amazing,” Davila said.

Preston Tobery, the StingerStudio makerspace coordinator poses in front of a 3D printer on Oct. 6, 2022. Tobery has led other makerspaces in the past and is looking to expand this one in the near future. (Alyssa Branum )

Jasmine Gomez, a senior computer engineering major and staff at the StingerStudio Makerspace, said that the machines are used to create bumper stickers, signs, posters and buttons. She said that, in the space, there’s a feeling that everyone who shows up is there to learn.

“That’s kind of our goal as people who work here, to support,” Gomez said.

Upon entering the StingerStudio Makerspace, students can tour the machines and learn about their capabilities. StingerStudio staff will help students get started on their less familiar devices if they need assistance.

“Training on the different machines ranges from fifteen minutes all the way up to an hour, depending on the machine,” said Tobery.

The StingerStudio Makerspace has several 3D printers. The devices are the most popular machines in the space, according to Tobery.

Digital and regular sewing machines are there as well. The digital sewing machine is capable of sewing any design from the computer attached to it onto the fabric set into the machine. One of the designs showcased was Sac State’s mascot Herky himself, sewn into a piece of fabric.

The vinyl cutting machine has the capability to make most of the crafts Gomez listed, with the added ability to cut leather.

While the space offers many creative uses, it is also available for practical use. Engineering students and fashion students use 3D printers and sewing machines for their projects. 

If someone is interested in prototyping something for their business — shirt designs or even the product itself — they are able to explore those options in the space. However, the staff emphasizes that the space is purely for prototyping and creativity, not for mass-manufacturing products.

“As an engineer,” Christian Mukai, a senior computer engineering major said, “I can think about my future projects that I will do for my senior project.”

The StingerStudio plans to expand to a larger space next semester inside of the Tschannen Science Complex, according to Tobery.