Makeathon 2015

For one weekend, we will be bringing together the brightest students in art & design, engineering, business, and liberal arts to turn their ideas into physical product prototypes. Teams will pitch their innovative prototypes and get the chance to bring their product idea to market. All food and materials will be provided.

February 6-8, 2015.

Hosted at the University of Michigan Art and Architecture Building




  • Solder & soldering irons
  • Breadboards
  • Wire strippers
  • Hookup wire (22 awg)
  • Resistors
  • Capacitors
  • Transistors
  • Assorted connectors
  • Crimpers
  • Electrical tape
  • Battery holders
  • Batteries
  • LEDs
  • Alligator clip leads
  • Arduino Uno
  • USB type B cables
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Buttons/Switches
  • Various sensors
  • Multimeters
  • SmartThings hubs and Arduino shields
  • Motion sensors
  • Contact sensors
  • Smart plugs/outlets
  • Moisture sensors
  • Temperature/humidity sensors

Raw Materials

  • Foam core
  • Cardboard
  • Super glue
  • Epoxy
  • Wood glue
  • Acrylic sheets
  • Wood dowels
  • Plywood sheets
  • Steel sheet
  • 2 x 4′s

Tools/General Materials

  • Screwdrivers
  • Hot glue guns/sticks
  • Hobby Knives
  • Staple guns
  • Measuring tape
  • Zip ties
  • Cutting mats
  • Magnets
  • Rope
  • Drills
  • Drill bits
  • Spade bits
  • Driving bits
  • Dremels
  • Hacksaws
  • Jigsaws
  • Calipers
  • Wrenches
  • Vice grips
  • Pliers
  • Level
  • Sandpaper
  • Pulleys
  • Springs
  • Motors
  • Servos

Office Supplies and Misc. Materials

  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Rope
  • Mason line
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Dry erase markers
  • Pens

Interested in using materials or resources that aren’t on the list? Shoot us an email at mpowered-makeathon@umich.edu and we will try to accommodate your requests!


  • What is Makeathon about?
  • This year, we’ve selected the following themes for the event:
  • Health & Wellness               Environment & Energy           Entertainment & Toys. 
  • There will be a $1000 prize for the best product for each category. In addition, Thalmic Labs (developed Myo armband), is sponsoring a prize for the team that best integrates the Myo armband in their project.
  • Where is Makeathon? 
  • Makeathon is being held on the University of Michigan’s North Campus Art and Architecture Building
  • Who can participate in Makeathon? 
  • Makeathon is open to all college students and all majors- not just the University of Michigan- ranging from undergraduates to PhD. Unfortunately, participants must be over the age of 18 due to safety concerns.
  • How many people can be on a team?
  • Typically, teams are comprised of 3-5 members – however, this is not a set requirement. Feel free to work with as many people as you are comfortable with!
  • What if I don’t have a team? 
  • No worries! We are planning to match people into teams at the beginning of the event.
  • I don’t have an idea yet. What should I do? 
  • Keep those creative juices flowing. If you still don’t have an idea at the time of the event, our sponsoring partners will be on-board to help brainstorm and mentor projects.
  • Should I be starting on my project right now? 
  • Nope! In the spirit of Makeathon, we’re asking participants to avoid bringing projects that have already been started. That being said, any useful files (CAD, code, etc.) and documentation is highly encouraged.
  • How much does it cost for me to participate in Makeathon? 
  • Makeathon is FREE for all participants. The event will encompass food, material, and tool costs. However, teams from further away will be responsible for lodging and miscellaneous expenses. If you have specific materials in mind, shoot us an email and we will do our best to facilitate.
  • How long is Makeathon?  
  • The event is continuous from Friday, February 6th through Sunday, February 8th. Due to supervision restrictions, there will be some limitations on using the shop tools and large machinery. Teams are free to go home and get some rest.
  • What training do I need to participate in Makeathon? 
  • All participants who are interested in using the wood and metal shops and CNC routers will require orientation with the School of Art and Design and/or School of Architecture. Sign up early to receive key information on these orientation dates and additional workshops.

As always, feel free to send questions our way at mpowered-makeathon@umich.edu!