Gracie Sawyer, junior product design major, designed and constructed a makerspace cart for a local elementary school librarian during fall quarter. The project formed part of the curriculum of the CNC prototyping class offered by Walla Walla University’s Department of Technology.
The CNC prototyping class gives students the opportunity to learn how to operate a computer numerical control (CNC) machine, which is used to cut a variety of materials. “When students create things, they become curious, ask questions, and become problem solvers,” said Jefre Humbert, instructor of product design.
Class members were instructed to find a local client in need of a cart and create a product that fulfilled their design specifications, using only one sheet of plywood. Sawyer connected with a school librarian who works at both Sharpstein Elementary School and Burney Elementary School. Her client needed a cart that featured a lockable drawer, that was equipped with electrical outlets, and that was suitable for her height.
With a very limited quantity of material to work with, Sawyer had to strategically plan her construction. For example, Sawyer conserved both material and product weight by opting to create a slatted back on the cart rather than a solid back. She explained that this also gave the cart an apple crate aesthetic, making her design more unique.
Sawyer appreciated that her project could directly impact the local school system. “When I sent my design in for approval, she was so nice and so excited,” said Sawyer. “She was a pleasure to work with.”
Learn more about the Department of Technology at WWU by visiting wallawalla.edu/technology.
Posted May 22, 2023