Ground design

The Hatchery begins the semester in the New Makerspace

Boston College students walking to class can see through the modern glass walls of 245 Beacon the Hatchery’s array of wooden work surfaces, sleek machinery and drawers upon drawers of tools: the new space of manufacturing from Boston College.

The Hatchery kicked off the semester with a full week of training sessions starting August 29. Once students have completed an online orientation and safety module, they can schedule training on specific machines or book time slots when they can work independently with a machine.

“It’s a way for students to bring their ideas to life in a way that BC has never really offered at this level,” said Madison Dunaway, manager of design and innovation at Columbia. -Briton and hatchery manager.

A team of employed students conduct one-on-one training sessions on the space’s equipment, including eight sewing machines, a vinyl cutter and heat press, and a laser cutter. The space also houses a digital embroidery machine, 3D printers and woodworking equipment.

The Hatchery is open from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday.

Dunaway said most materials in the makerspaces are free for students, and students can use the machines at no cost.

“The level that BC has committed to is really impressive and really fantastic for the student body,” Dunaway said. “It’s one of the fairest college makerspaces and possibly the fairest college makerspace I’ve ever worked in.”

According to Madison Simmons, a member of the Hatchery team, MCAS ’25, makerspaces used to be dominated by white males. Hatchery’s goal is to break away from preconceptions that only certain people may be interested in creative engineering, Simmons said.

The mission of The Hatchery is to foster accessible learning and inventive thinking.

All of the products made in the Hatchery can be taken home by their creators and Simmons, that said, encourages students to use their imaginations and explore new skills.

“[Students] will use the vinyl cutter to make stickers and dorm decorations,” Simmons said. “A lot of people also give gifts. A project that many people have worked on [is] make some charcuterie boards, then some sort of laser-engraved knots with the names of family members.

Sarah Treacy, MCAS ’24, started creating her own personal projects at Hatchery last week and is sewing curtains for her downstairs apartment instead of buying a set online. Treacy said she was thrilled to bring her creative ideas to life in the space.

“It’s very accepting,” Treacy said. “No one will judge you for what you want to create. Everyone is going to make sure you’re safe and know how to do what you want.

The hatchery plans to collaborate with other student organizations, and Dunaway said she hopes to connect students with internships at companies that value the experiences students gain in the hatchery.

“[There are] companies looking for experienced graduates, and there aren’t many colleges that offer courses and 3D printing specifically,” Dunaway said. “It’s very obvious that people need to hire students like the ones we have.