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Mechanical Engineers in the Makerspace: What Are You Working On?

Mechanical Engineer in the Makerspace
Mechanical engineers might be the ultimate project geeks, working on all sorts of creative projects, ideas and even inventions in their spare time. In our experience, the engineers who work on projects outside their day job seem to enjoy more rewarding careers. Keeping their skills sharp with challenging extracurricular projects also seems to makes them more coveted hires for our clients. The emerging makerspace is where many engineers and other like-minded “makers” hone these skills together on an amazing range of projects. So we were eager to find out what sorts of projects engineers had going in their basements, garages and backyards.

Welcome to the makerspace

Makerspaces, and increasingly hackerspaces, are the emerging platform of choice for makers to share their work and contribute collaboratively to each others’ projects. We found thousands of online meetups and communities where the maker movement connects, sharing their projects with other makers across the country and around the world. On Makerspace.com, the curious engineer can connect with scores of makerspaces in their local area.  

The diversity of projects is astonishing, ranging from complex 3D printing creations to clever re-imaginings of household tools. Like this ingenius maker sharing his seemingly simple project to replace the handle on a treasured ice-cream scoop with one made from odd bits of HDPE (high density polyethylene). Sounds like a yawner? It’s not. Watch his video and then check out the subreddit chat here

The makerspace online

What makes the maker movement different from the more traditional DIY project is how, using social platforms like YouTube and online forums, the nature and reach of once private projects has changed radically over the past few years. A great example of how these digital communities extend the value of the physical makerspace is this video produced and shared by a makerspace group describing their Makerspace Access Control System, and simple but elegant system for ensuring users of the equipment and tools in their makerspace were suitably qualified to use the tools.

What are you working on?

We checked in with Melanie Wilson one of our veteran recruiters who has been working with engineers for more than 18 years to get her take on what makes makerspaces so popular. “We find so many of our mechanical engineer contractors constantly seeking fresh challenges, both at their jobs and outside of work. Whenever they get together their conversations inevitably start with, ‘what are you working on?’ Our engineers thrive on always finding something new to do and these projects help keep their skills sharp, raisisng their professional stock in today’s competitive marketplace.” 

Curiosity as leverageable job skill

Melanie and other Aerotek recruiters of mechanical engineers find that our clients often covet these types of engineers for their inventive spirit and creative curiosity. If you’re an engineer curious about exploring your next equally challenging and rewarding day job, we’d love to hear from you.  

Create an Aerotek engineering career account here if you haven’t already. To explore our current mechanical engineering opportunities, visit here