In a makersystem, local makerspaces network together to offer specialized capabilities to a larger community.
We are working hard to make sure MIT students have access to the tools, spaces and information they need to make, create and innovate.
The MIT Mobius system was created to help manage and share information about resources that the MIT community may use to make, measure and manipulate. Mobius consists of 3 main elements:
1. Mobius database
Project Manus works with facility managers to catalog and categorize their equipment and facilities for Mobius. Facility managers can then maintain their facilities information.
2. Mobius Web App
MIT community members (and members of the Make Impact Consortium) can use the responsive MIT Mobius Web App to locate all of the equipment and facilities in the database, check the status of equipment and pay for materials and machine time. Facility managers can use the web app to modify information about their facility, policies, equipment and users.
3. Mobius management
Management of Mobius facilities is handled through the same web app via the “Admin” tab available to facility managers.
There are over 45 major makerspaces spanning 130,000 ft2, that contain over 300 different kinds of maker equipment That is a lot of space and machines! The MIT community needed a way to find these machines/resources they need without calling/walking to multiple makerspaces.
This is particularly important forirst-year students, new graduate students and entrepreneurs that may not be familiar with MIT’s making system. The Mobius app enable students to search/find maker machines (e.g. laser cutters, mills, or waterjets). Students can search by equipment type, the material they are working with and several other search avenues.
This capability removes payment processing as a barrier to use of maker spaces. The Mobius Web App permits students to pay for materials, machine time, access fees, and more from their phone using two options.
The first is through their TechCash account (MIT’s internal currency) which also includes ‘MakerBucks’ provided to first-year students upon completion of the MakerLodge Training. The second is through Credit Cards, either MIT Purchasing Cards or personal credit cards.
When payment is submitted, the appropriate local resource (shop manager, material storehouse manager) will receive immediate notice that the charge has either been denied/fulfilled. Students would be able to check their balance via the app.