A student working on equipment inside the idea shop

Every idea needs fuel to be successful. Illinois Tech’s Idea Shop helps to ignite ideas with cutting-edge tools to help students transform their new products and inventions into reality. This state-of-the-art, rapid-prototyping lab houses 3D printers and scanners, multiple CNC milling machines, a vacuum former, and laser cutter. Full-time staff advise students on everything from equipment use to product marketability. You can use the Idea Shop for a class project, research project, or your own personal endeavor.

Alumni Dane Christianson holding the X-Cube

“Devoted to Creation”

Illinois Tech alumnus Dane Christianson (ME ’15) took full advantage of the Idea Shop while at Illinois Tech. Utilizing the shop’s 3D printer, Christianson created the X-Cube twisty puzzle while he was a student. Initially crowdfunded, the X-Cube is now sold on Amazon.

“The Idea Shop allows students access to experience and equipment that would be very expensive and time consuming to use on your own. Being able to build working prototypes really helps our research because we can use it in real applications. In the Idea Shop it is possible to build almost any idea that you have—you can use the equipment to do almost anything.”

—Frank La Marca (ME ’14/M.S. EE ’16), System Engineer, LG Chem Power, Inc.

“When I found out that there was a place at Illinois Tech devoted to creation, I was blown away.”

—Dane Christianson (ME ’15), CEO, Block Bins, LLC