Lakeshore Fab Lab Manager Receives 2021 OnShape Educator Award

Chris Kaminsky

Chris Kaminsky

Chris Kaminsky, who manages Muskegon Community College’s Lakeshore Fab Lab, received the 2021 Onshape COVID Hero Award from PTC, Inc. for his “ability to pivot and innovate with OnShape to help the world in a time of crisis” during the current academic year.

Owned by Boston-based PTC, Inc., Onshape is the only software-as-a-service product development platform that combines CAD, built-in data management, real-time collaboration tools, and business analytics.

“At PTC, we love seeing the amazing work and dedication that educators put in for their students,” the company noted in announcing its inaugural 2021 Onshape Educator Award recipients on June 16.

“In what has been a challenging and unforeseen school year, educators around the world were faced with problem solving for their students like never before. Educators were innovative, motivated and among the first to take digital transformation into their own hands in order to keep education accessible.”

Since the Lakeshore Fab Lab opened in 2018, Kaminsky has turned to OnShape for its ease of use on internal projects created collaboratively by volunteers.

“We also use Onshape with our CTC partnership with a BioTech class,” he explained. “The students work to help those in the community with disabilities overcome any restrictions they may have. For example, one project the students worked on was developing a special spoon to help the client eat easier. They were able to work in teams on different parts of the project using web-based Onshape.”

When COVID halted in-person Fab Lab operations, Kaminsky became restless.

“When we initially shutdown, I was at home pretty lost with what to do with myself,” he noted. “I kept seeing things popping up on forums about 3D printing PPE and knew that was one way I could join in the fight against COVID.”

“So, after putting my fleet of 3D printers to work and joining up with others in the area, the group was formed to make PPE for those that need it. When we had the option for plastic injection tooling of components drop in our lap, we were using various software such as Creo (also owned by PTC) and Onshape for design review. It worked great. We could be in a meeting talking about what needed to change to make the 3D printable version able to be injection molded, and then all we had to do was share a link to the file and everyone could see it.”

“Last year during the 3DC19 days of making PPE, it was a very stressful time for me and others in our group. We were up late and early making parts, assembling and packaging parts, driving around to deliver parts or cold calling people and companies to try to find the supplies we needed. None of us really wanted recognition for any of it, we just were doing what we felt was right in our gut.”

“Having said that, it does feel very awesome to have been given this award. None of us felt like heroes in comparison to what many frontline workers went through, but we hoped with our efforts we could make it a little better for them.”

For more information, contact Chris Kaminsky at