The Makerspace at West Houston Institute

About IDEAStudio

IDEAStudio is the makerspace at the West Houston Institute and supports its mission by providing a place to explore, imagine, and create using  emerging technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and CNC machines alongside traditional tools 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 Training Workshop

IDEAStudio members can register to attend any of our training workshops. To become a member, start with our Introduction the Makerspace workshop as this serves as our orientation and general safety training and is required for all students, faculty, and staff.

Introduction to the Makerspace (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.

  • Open sessions will be scheduled in March 2020. Until then, contact IDEAStudio to arrange a time for individual training based on a availability
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.

Metal Shop Essentials

Metalshop Essentials gives you an introduction to IDEAStudio’s metal shop safety, basic tools, and resources that might be applicable to your metalworking project. In this workshop we will go over the safety standards, use, and operation of the following pieces of equipment: Chop Saw, Drill Press, Bench Grinder, Bench Brake, Combination Notcher/Bender/Shear

Wood Shop Essentials

IDEAStudio has a variety of stationary power tools available to members. The training for these tools have been split into several groups based on level of difficulty and popularity. After completing this workshop, you should understand the functionality associated with the following tools: Planer & Jointer, Drill Press, Miter Saw, Band Saw, Scroll Saw, Disc & Belt Sander



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. Check back for Spring 2020 activities!


Visit Us


Alief-Hayes Campus

West Houston Institute, 110 2811 Hayes Rd., Houston, TX 77082

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