The Makerspace at West Houston Institute

About Us

IDEAStudio is the Makerspace at the West Houston Institute and supports its mission by providing a place to explore, experiment, and experience using a creative design process alongside emerging and traditional technologies to take ideas from concept to launch.

"IDEAS" stands for Innovation, Design & Entrepreneurship integrated into the Arts & Sciences. To develop the mindsets and skillsets we believe are essential for success today, we offer a range of programs and activities including membership and training for all students, faculty, and staff; support for instructional and individual projects; opportunities for mentorship and networking; and events for our local community.

Get Involved

Become a Member

Current HCC credit students, faculty and staff are eligible to become IDEAStudio members. You will be joining a creative community where you can develop the mindsets + skillsets that will empower your future success, including creative problem-solving, iterative design, and team-based collaboration.

Get started by signing up for a new member orientation. Check the training section below for upcoming sessions and links to register. As a member, you will have:

  • Access to workspace and hand tools for individual or team projects
  • Use of digital and traditional fabrication tools on which you have trained
  • Storage space for project materials and consumables
  • Select opportunities for mentorship + networking


Attend a Workshop

IDEAStudio members can register to attend any of our tool training workshops. If you are a current HCC student, faculty, or staff member but are not a member of our spcae, sign up to attend our introductory session first.

Introduction to IDEAStudio (Required for New Members)

The orientation workshop is the first step to becomming an IDEAStudio member and a maker. Find out about makerspaces and hosw they can empower individuals and communities; gain specific information about IDEAStudio, including our open hours,  available tools and equipment, and safety guidelines. You will become a member of our space upon successful completion of this workshop. From there, you can level up by participating in any of our tool training workshops. Take your ideas from concept to launch!

Introduction to 3D Printing

Learn the basics of using our Ultimaker and Prusa 3D printers in this one session training workshop. You will learn how to acquire a 3D model, prepare it for printing, set up and run your job, and post process your finished object. Note: You must be a current member of IDEAStudio to complete this training.

Advanced 3D Printing

This advanced course builds on the knowledge and skills developed in the introductory training. Members will learn how to acquire and prepare 3D models to print using our Formlabs Form 2 stereolithography (SLA) printers and Markforged Mark Two printer. Note: You must have successfully completed the Introduction to 3D printing training before attending this workshop.

Introduction to Electronics

This introductory course provides members with the basics of soldering as well as an overview of our Electronics workstations, available features and tools, and safety guidelines when working with electronics.

Introduction to Laser Cutting

Learn how to use the studio's Epilog M2 laser cutters. Training covers the safe use and operation of the laser cutter, preparing images for cutting, and etching or cutting on materials such as wood, acrylic, and textiles. Successful completion grants members access to use the laser cutters during open hours. Note: You must be a current member of IDEAStudio to complete this training.

Introduction to Vinyl Cutting (US Cutter)

Learn the basics of vinyl cutting using our US Cutter machines. Learn how to prepare a 2D design, choose the right kind of material for the job, and use the vinyl cutter to produce your finished product. Note: You must be a current member of IDEAStudio to complete this training.

Power Tools Level I

This training covers the following power tools: Cordless Drill, Impact Driver, Disc Sander, and Orbital Sander. Successsful completion prepares members to check out and use the tools covered in the training. Note: You must be a current member of IDEAStudio to complete this training. (No sessions scheduled at this time)

  • No sessions scheduled at this time


Make a Project Request

Instructional Project Requests

Instructors can request to work with IDEAStudio to deliver instructional activities for their students and staff, including graded assignments, extra-curricular experiences, and professional development opportunities.

Department Project Requests

HCC staff and departments can request assistance on projects that would benefit from the use of the equipment and spaces at IDEAStudio. We take on a limited number of projects each year depending on available resources and project scope.


Join Us for an Event

IDEAStudio hosts as well as participants in a number of community events throughout the year.

Upcoming Events
  • Plastic Planet: The Remix Challenge
    Starting in Fall 2019, the West Houston Institute will host an integrative learning challenge, "Plastic Planet: The Remix" focused on rethinking, reimagining, and remaking the way we live, work, and play so that it is more sustainable for us today and for future generations. Students and faculty from across all disciplines are encouraged to participate! As part of this, IDEAStudio will host a series of workshops and events.


Visit Us


Alief-Hayes Campus

West Houston Institute 2811 Hayes Rd., Houston, TX 77082

Hours of Operation: Monday-Thursday: 9:00am-5:00pm Friday: 9:00am-4:00pm