Posted: September 27, 2017 at 1:27 pm, Last Updated: September 27, 2017 at 1:28 pm
New Year, New MIX!
On Wednesday, September 27 from 4 to 6 p.m., the Fairfax Campus will celebrate the grand opening of The MIX@Fenwick. The MIX stands for ‘Mason Innovation Exchange’ and they have recently opened a new location on the Fairfax Campus. The first location is located in Innovation Hall (Room 318) and the newest facility is in what was once the old Fenwick Library space.
Prior to expanding to Fenwick, the MIX was a hidden gem on campus and not many students knew about the amazing resources and opportunities offered. Now, the new location and building renovations give the MIX much needed visibility. It’s certainly hard to miss the big, colorful window pictured above!
What is The MIX?
The question everyone is asking, what is the MIX? What do they even do? Look no farther. The MIX is a collaborative and innovative ‘makerspace’ for anyone in the Mason community that offers open access to tools and technology; including, 3-D printing, virtual reality head sets, sewing machines, and much more. It’s a place where Mason students, staff, faculty, and alumni can come together to develop ideas, research problems, craft solutions, and start companies.
How Can I Participate?
Below is a peak inside the world of Mason’s best and brightest innovators. The first floor has plenty of sturdy tables to work at, multiple comfy booths to relax in, and plenty of shelves to show off cool projects. They are a bit empty now, but in the semesters to come they are bound to fill with creations from hundreds of Mason Patriots.
One of the stations on this floor includes a screen printing area for creators to make their own t-shirt design. The MIX@Fenwick will provide the ink and the technology so long as you provide a t-shirt and, of course, a design. Another station is Virtual Reality (VR), located near the entrance. VR immerses a person into an augmented reality where, more likely then not, they are playing some kind of game or stimulation.
Two of the other stations are committed to free 3-D printing. For those unaware, 3-D printing is much like regular paper-printing, except they squeeze out different filaments layer by layer to create a three dimensional object based on a virtual model. This has been used to save lives, for example, by printing human organs or prosthetic limbs.
Most recently, the MIX has added unique 2-D printing options including a vinyl cutter, an XY plotter, and a robot arm (DOBOT.)
On the second floor is an open studying area with comfortable seating, closed off desks and standard tables.
Want to get involved, but don’t know how to use any of their technology? No fear! The MIX holds classes and workshops on how to handle any of the available tech, or just ask a staff member. They are very eager and willing to help Patriots create.
The MIX@Fenwick is typically open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, but updated hours are posted on the chalkboard placed outside of the entrance.
For updates on cool projects Patriots are working on, or any new technology that comes in, follow The MIX on social media, check out their semester newsletter, and visit their website all of which can be found below.
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