Tinkering is the first step in the experiential learning continuum. Students pursue self-led, hands-on practice as a precursor to being involved in more significant activities. Tinkering projects are a great way to build a foundation for future engineering endeavors.
The Design Studio comprises a Reverse Engineering Lab (RevEng Lab) and the Da Vinci Lab. The studio consists of a variety of tools, measurement devices and materials to support tinkering via product teardown, ideation and modification. Concepts can be implemented through the complementary tinkering spaces.
A great way to start tinkering is with a reverse engineering project. Come to the RevEng Lab, work with your peers to tear down a product, and gain a better understanding of how engineering brings together innovative thinking and analysis to solve problems.
Reverse engineering will help you to build some fundamental engineering skills and inspire you to create — evolving the product to improve some aspect (e.g., change a component to improve performance or reduce cost) or radical modification (e.g., integrate a Raspberry Pi to make an Internet of Things device).
The Digital Manufacturing Lab houses a variety of 3D printing/ additive manufacturing technologies, software and capabilities for modeling and digital design, and manufacturing and analysis. Home to high-definition 3D digital scanners, desk-top and professional grade printers, the lab provides capabilities for precision rapid prototyping, tooling and manufacturing of 3D objects and parts.
The Electronics Tinkering Laboratory has scheduled hours for students to work on fabrication and tinkering with electronics under guidance from lab supervisors. Students will learn a range of skills and tools, including bread boarding, soldering, circuit design and simulation software, and power supplies and function generators. The lab is accessible most evenings and on weekends. You can sign up for a session here.
The SEAS Engineering Machine Shop is a great place to get started with tinkering and the experiential learning program continuum. You will be using the Machine Shop throughout your time at UB, so there is no better time to get accustomed to it than right now.
In general, the SEAS Engineering Machine Shop supports experimental research, student clubs and course requirements. Highly skilled staff provide technical support for faculty, staff and students.
Before you can enter the machine shop, you must complete and pass the safety certification. More information regarding this orientation/certification can be found here.
There are numerous books and websites to help you get started coding with the languages below. We've linked to getting started resources, but do some research to find others to advance understanding.
Soldering 101 with UB IEEE
Soldering 102 with UB IEEE
Welding 101 with UB ASCE