The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Makerspace joins forces with Hacker Lab


When City College’s Makerspace was in its inception, a UPS truck packed full of equipment pulled into the loading zone. Even with the help of volunteers, it took hours to unload, Professor Tom Cappelletti recalled. 

Cappelletti, professor of design and digital media at Makerspace, has spent the past two years creating a place for students to dabble in different elements of creativity such as 3-D printing and textiles. 

“The Makerspace is an interdisciplinary hub of hands-on learning,” Cappelletti said. “We want it to be a casual environment but offer students tech tools, traditional tools encourage them to build projects in whatever discipline they come to us.”

According to Cappelletti, Makerspace has been focused on expanding and improving the program, and a partnership with Hacker Lab—an all-in-one makerspace, coworking facility located in Downtown Sacramento—is the latest extension of that. The two organizations have been in contact for some time, and this semester the pieces came together, creating a partnership that allows City College students currently enrolled in Makerspace classes free access to Hacker Lab.

“[Makerspace] came to me this fall and said, ‘Hey, we’re ready,’” said Kaitlyn MacGregor, City College public information officer. “[It gives students] The opportunity to connect with community members that are working in the field students are interested in.” 

The partnership also gives students the opportunity to push their work to the next level as well as access to workshops and resources not available at Makerspace, according to Cappelletti.

Additionally, students have 24/7 access to Hacker Lab as opposed to the limited hours Makerspace provides.  

“We’re more entry-level, very few prerequisites for anything. We also are strictly only for Los Rios students,” Cappelletti said. “Where we you go there [Hacker Lab], you’re going to deal with the entire community.”

According to Cody O’Ferrall, faculty member at Makerspace, it can get hectic during certain hours in Makerspace.

“It gets very busy here, which is a good thing,” O’Ferrall said. “[It] is also difficult to focus sometimes.”

O’Ferrall said that one of the drawbacks that Makerspace has is limited space and that during peak hours, a two-room classroom is not enough. The partnership with Hacker Lab gives students more space to grow and more machines to work with. 

City college Makerspace student Christian Espinoza who has a business making customizable furniture, said he hopes that Hacker Lab will help him because the larger facility will give him the ability to produce furniture faster.  

“Obviously we’re smaller,” Espinoza said as he waved his hand gesturing to the two small classrooms Makerspace currently occupies.

According to Espinoza, Makerspace, unlike Hacker Lab, can’t provide space for welding or metal work because it does not have the proper ventilation or enough space for the proper equipment.  

“They have way more disciplines than we do,”  Espinoza said.

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O’Ferrall is encouraging students to take advantage of the equipment and workshops at Hacker Lab.

“They have machinery that we don’t have here,”  O’Ferrall said.

Espinoza plans to use various aspects of the Hacker Lab, especially the storage space, to store the furniture he builds there.

“It’s more the space and the ability to store things much easier,”  Espinoza said.

Cappelletti agrees, explaining that there are more things that students can try out at Hacker Lab.

“There’s all kinds of opportunities there that aren’t here,” Cappelletti said. “They can do metal, we can’t do metal here because of the rules. And they have welding and computer controlled welding.”

A hope of Espinoza’s is that by networking through Hacker Lab, he can find more customers for his customizable furniture.

“People come to school for school,” Espinoza said. “They don’t come to buy a coffee table.”

While based on the same ideals of making and learning, the two spaces differ.

“We’re [Makerspace] educational,”  O’Ferrall said. “They’re [Hacker Lab] more professional.”

O’Ferrall agrees with Espinoza that the partnership will give students a different type of community than the one at school, allowing them to meet new people and give them business opportunities.

“[It gives students a] professional community that maybe we don’t have access to here,”  O’Ferrall said.

Another benefit to students working on their projects at Hacker Lab is that it will allow them to get on the ground floor of some projects with community members starting businesses, according to O’Ferrall.

“They always have people starting businesses out of Hacker Lab,” O’Ferrall said.

According to Cappelletti, there are somewhere between 50 to 75 students who regularly stop by at Makerspace and he hopes more students will join.

“Encourage students to come over here,” Cappelletti said. “It’s open to the entire student body, staff and faculty, so at least come by and have a tour.”
Makerspace is located at the Cosmetology building in rooms 110 and 108 Hacker Lab is located in midtown Sacramento location at 2533 R St., Suite 120.

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