think[box] Playbook

Building a University Makerspace? We want to see you succeed, and we want to see the think[box] culture of open collaboration, innovation, tinkering, and creativity proliferate across our nation's campuses. On this page you will find a variety of instructional documents, policies, graphic designs, and more - shared openly for the worldwide Maker community.

Have questions? Give us a call or stop by for a visit. We are here to help!

CWRU think[box] Playbook

How did you build your think[box]? In response to this question, we developed a think[box] playbook that outlines both internal and external activities that contributed to the rise of our innovation playground.

Managing A Makerspace

think[box] Manager Ian Charnas speaks at conferences on the topic of managing Makerspaces. Watch his talk from the 2014 MakerCon in NYC to learn how we handle over 3000 visits a month with just a handful of staff.

Tutorials and Policies

In order to service many thousands of visits each month, it became important to make the lab as self-serve as possible. By creating visual tutorials and revising them through user observations, we were able to make much of think[box] self-serve. All of our equipment tutorials, study guides, and trainings, in addition to our policies, are available to download through our Document Sharing Policy.  

Organizational Whiteboard Designs

Makerspace managers who tour the lab often ask how we made our organizational dry-erase boards. We use these for tracking our Maintenance Tasks and our Teaching Assistants. These custom-printed porcelain-coated steel dry-erase boards were fabricated by Magnatag Visible Systems and are available for download in Adobe Illustrator and PDF formats. Email with any questions.

Ability Badges and Stickers

Ability Badges are a popular hallmark at think[box]. These badges were designed with accompanying stickers that visibly show which equipment users have been trained on. Lab users receive basic safety training in order to receive these badges, which must be worn at all times in the Metal Shop and Wood Shop. 

The badges were produced by JakPrints (ask for "Laminated VIP Membership Cards", 3.375 x 2.125 inches). Design files are available for download in Adobe Illustrator and PDF formats.

The stickers were produced at think[box] and are available for download in Adobe Illustrator and PDF formats.


Great signage is essential for informing users and enforcing policies. Here are some of our most asked-for designs:

Proper Shop Attire: CorelDraw format
Price/Usage Signs: Adobe Illustrator multi-file zip archive