Hawai'i State News

Space for 3D printing, fabrication, sewing, more in new University of Hawai‘i RISE center

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Rendering of RISE makerspace. Photo Courtesy: Hunt Development Group

One of the unique features of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Residences for Innovative Student Entrepreneurs (RISE) center, opening August 2023, will be the makerspaces—where students will have exclusive access to 3D printers, laser cutters, tools, sewing machines, project workspaces and more to bring their ideas to life.

The RISE makerspaces were inspired by the “make space” at the University of Utah’s Lassonde Studios.

The Lassonde “make space” features a shop, tools and prototyping room that provide students with the resources they need for any project, ranging from heavy machinery, 3D printers, sewing machines and more. All students across campus are welcome to use the space with fellow students providing training on how to properly and safely use the machines.

The RISE makerspaces are a key component of the $70-million, six-story, live-learn-work facility. It will be located within the 10,000 square feet lower floor that will include meeting, recording and classroom space and will be managed by Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship in the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Shidler College of Business. The six-story building will house 374 student residents.


“It’s really a game-changer for all of those students who have ideas that have the product element to it,” said Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship Executive Director Sandra Fujiyama. “So being able to have the makerspaces at RISE under the same roof as our co-working and ideation spaces will give them that opportunity to really bring their ideas to life.”

Current and prospective students at any of the 10 University of Hawai‘i campuses are welcome to apply. For more information and to apply starting in fall 2023, visit the RISE website. All RISE student spaces, including student housing rooms, will be open by August. The Atherton wing, which will house office space for University of Hawai‘i Foundation and additional ideation space for the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship, is expected to be completed by January 2024.

RISE is a six-story, live-learn-work facility, with a 10,000 square foot innovation space on the lower floor. Photo Courtesy: UH Mānoa

Joy Libarios was able to bring her idea to life at Lassonde Studios. The Sacred Hearts Academy graduate is a junior civil engineering student at the University of Utah and lives in Lassonde. Being nearly 3,000 miles away from home, Libarios often craves her favorite Hawaiʻi meal, Spam musubi. Her mother sends care packages with rice, Spam and nori, which inspired her to utilize the make space to create her own musubi maker.

“I went on the 3D printer and I designed, just like, a rectangle thing with a pusher, and it printed me out a Spam musubi maker, and I was able to make Spam musubi,” Libarios said. “I think that’s really cool how Lassonde provides us with that type of technology.”


Libarios also uses the laser cutters in the make space to create coasters with special lei designs, such as puakenikeni flowers.

She said she appreciates the one-stop-shop feel of having her living space, study space, dining options and the make space all in one building, which will all soon be available to University of Hawai‘i students who will live at RISE.

University of Utah freshman mechanical engineering student and Utah resident Derek Martin has a lot of experience in the make space and trains his peers on the equipment. His favorites are the laser cutter and table saw.

“The best thing is being around similar-minded people—people that like to build things,” Martin said. “I’m a mechanical engineering student so there’s a lot of people like me here. And seeing what people are building inspires me to build something like that of my own.”


Martin added that he initially thought that the make space would not be very popular.

“It really surprised me how many people are invested in making things,” Martin said. “And, talking to them every day, helping them with what they need to get done, it really opened my eyes up with how many people want to create and use our space.”

The makerspaces at RISE will also be available to all University of Hawai‘i System students who hope to prototype their ideas into reality.

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