Excited to share with you that we were recently featured in a global news story about our Makerspace and it’s impact on the city of Rochester. We’d like to share that video with you here. Please feel free to spread the word and share the video amongst your friends who may have questions about us! You may also watch the video by visiting the YouTube page.
Also, about two months ago some friends from RDM Makerspace (Rotterdam, Netherlands) visited us on their cross-country trip. The following video is from their stop. Again you may also view via YouTube.
Woodworking, metalworking, electronics—these are all pretty standard elements of a makerspace. But Victoria Makerspace in British Columbia, Canada, has something few, if any, other workshops can claim.
The club has a working blacksmith shop, complete with a propane forge, a number of hammers and two anvils. It’s got the standard woodworking tools as well, like a variety of saws, a wood lathe and belt sander. It also has metalworking tools, including a drill press, TIG and MIG welding equipment and even the start of a casting furnace. For electronics enthusiasts, Victoria Makerspace has a Cupcake 3D Printer, soldering station and a Full Spectrum 40W laser cutter.
Victoria Makerspace has an interesting membership plan. It has the normal monthly rates–$51.50 for a regular membership and $103 for a key and 24/7 access—but also gives an option to drop in for the day for $20.
People who want to take a free look at Victoria Makerspace have ample opportunities as well. The club holds an open house every Tuesday night, and on Thursdays has a get-together where electronic enthusiasts can work with Arduinos. The night isn’t anything formal, the club says, just a chance to play with the electronics, get help on problems from other members and share a beer or two with them. The club also keeps members in touch with projects and interesting news about makerspaces through its blog and Twitter page.
It’s a DIYer’s dream, but don’t expect those dreams to come true at rocket speed.
3D printers are capable of creating just about any little plastic doodad or spare part for household repairs you can dream up, but it can take between 2 to 8 hours depending on the object to complete.
“I jokingly refer to it as my Chinese factory in a box,” said Kevin Besig who ran the latest demo at Rochester Makerspace, “because I can make all the random little knicknacks that I love to find, but I don’t have to necessarily find the perfect thing. I can make it.”
Kevin showed off @ROCMaker’s resident Solidoodle 2 3D printer, assembled for around 700 USD. He used a spool of purple PLA plastic to create a flexible bracelet and displayed a handful of much more complicated Yoda heads, boxes, and glow-in-the-dark sculptures he’s made on his customized printrbot at home.
He said the even more consumer friendly Cube is now for sale at $1299. It’s more of a turnkey model that feeds in plastic through a printer cartridge, rather than the more technically challenging spool. The trick for any new user who wants to depart from 3D designs already uploaded to the internet is mastering the software to create unique objects.
So whether it’s an oven knob, random part for your lawnmower, or a Game of Thrones action figure come on down to Rochester Makerspace and talk to other 3D printing enthusiasts who can share their expertise and help you make your DIY project possible.
There’s a lot of exciting news that I am here to report, but I first wish to thank all of our supporters, volunteers, and to all those who have contributed to the Makerspace in some way. The only reason we have accomplished what we have is due to the people who are behind us. So again thanks.
We also realize communication and updates haven’t been our strong suit as of late. We realize this has left many of you in the dark, but other matters were more important. Many tasks could only be accomplished by a few of us, and we put forth all of our free time to getting us a step closer to being open.
With that being said I am pleased to announce that in this past week we finalized our insurance and as a result we were able to sign our lease! For those that don’t know we will be taking up two spaces at our 850 St. Paul St. location, for an approximate total of 3800 sq. ft. Both have been completely renovated, and will more than fit our needs for the time being.
But this is just the beginning! The real work has yet to start. A lot needs to be done to prepare the space, move tools into our location, and ready our organization for memberships and all that entails. We need plenty of help moving in, and we plan on beginning this weekend. If you have a truck, a van, or any other means to help us in this process please let us know by getting in touch with us on Google Groups.
We will also be building workbenches, shelves, and other necessities for the space. It doesn’t matter if you have no woodworking skills. This is an opportunity to learn, meet other members, and get involved in building out the space!
To start this process we are having an informal meet up on Saturday at the space from 11am to at least 2pm.
We understand that this is on short notice, and because of that we will also be meeting on Tuesday as well. One of us will be in the space by 5:30pm Tuesday, and we plan on ordering pizza around 6:30pm for everyone. Whether you want to show up before, during, or after is up to you.
Coming to one of these meet ups would be a great opportunity to find out how you can help, or offer a contribution to our effort. Expect more emails and check our blog for more information and updates. We are hitting the ground running so expect things to move quickly!
If you plan on coming either day please get in touch with us on Google Groups. If you see an RSVP thread, please do not create another one.
I look forward to meeting with all of you, and working with you in the next couple of days. Please see below for images of the space and another of Rob signing the lease! (The way to exit the images is by pressing ESC, good luck!)
For decades individuals have pooled their talents and financial resources to create community woodworking shops, darkrooms, art studios and other facilities so they could pursue activities they couldn’t afford on their own. What’s different about makerspaces is that they provide the tools, space and community needed to support many different activities and interests.
ADX – This makerspace in Portland, Oregon, describes itself as “dual parts workspace and incubator, our membership-based community unites multiple creative disciplines within a 10,000 square-foot facility that is accessible, collaborative & affordable.” ADX opened in May 2011 and they have more than 150 members.
Artisan’s Asylum – Located near Boston, Massachusetts, Artisan’s Asylum started out about 3 years ago in 1,000 square feet and then expanded to 31,000 square feet. One reason they’re so large is because they have more than 90 private work and storage areas, ranging from 50 to 250 square feet, that their members can rent. Their very well-equipped facility also offers a wide range of affordable classes.
Columbus Idea Foundry – This makerspace is located in Columbus, Ohio, and operates in a 25,000 square foot building that has 4,000 sq. ft. of classroom and gallery space, 10,000 sq. ft. of studio space and 11,000 sq. ft. of workshop space. Their mission is “to provide tool-access and tool-education to small businesses, creative artists, and YOU.”
Fayetteville Free Library’s Fab Lab – The first makerspace to be created inside a US public library is not far away, near Syracuse. It includes a 3D-printer, a laser cutter and computer workstations with sophisticated design programs.
TechShop – “A membership-based workshop that provides members with access to tools and equipment, instruction, and a community of creative and supportive people so they can build the things they have always wanted to make.” It was started in 2006 as a for-profit membership based workshop in Menlo Park, California. Since then they have expanded across the country and are now in six cities, with more locations planned.
The Crucible – This educational facility “fosters a collaboration of Arts, Industry and Community. Through training in the fine and industrial arts.” It was started in 1999 in a 6,000 square foot warehouse in Berkley, California. It has grown to 47,000 square feet and they are now probably the largest nonprofit industrial arts education facility in the United States.
ADX Portland’s “Factory” Floor. All photos courtesy of ADX Portland.
ADX is a for-profit maker space located in Portland OR that describes itself as “Equal parts workspace and incubator, our membership-based community unites multiple creative disciplines within a 10,000 square-foot facility that is accessible, collaborative & affordable.” They opened in May 2011 and have about 150 members working in a 10,000 square-foot building. We have been closely studying them because they are one of the world’s best run and most successful maker spaces. All photos courtesy of ADX Portland.
ADX Portland’s lobby includes a counter top they made from a log
Artisan’s Asylum is located near Boston and it’s probably one of the world’s biggest and most successful maker spaces. They started out in about 4,000 or 5,000 square feet and then expanded several times. They currently have 31,000 square feet and I’ve heard they’re considering expanding to 40,000 or more. I don’t think this video shows just how big they are because the bicycle rider goes pretty fast and doesn’t turn his or her head much.
In addition to providing access to well-equipped workshops (woodworking, welding, machining, bike repair, electronics) they also rent various size spaces for storage or private work areas. That’s what the cubicles are for.
We’re also planning on renting affordable private work space and I’m very curious about why they didn’t make their cubicle walls higher and enclose them a little more. Wall space is very valuable in a workshop because you can hang tools or shelves on them. Walls can also help contain noise and dust.
A Makerbot Replicator (TM) similar to the Fayetteville Library’s 3D printer
According to this Forbes article, the Fayetteville Free Library is the first in the United States to create a maker space within a public library. If Fayetteville sounds familiar it might be because it’s near Syracuse and not that far from Rochester. The library calls their maker space “Fab Lab” and it features a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D printer.
The lab was Lauren Smedley’s idea. She wrote a graduate school paper about it that the library’s executive director liked it so much she hired Ms. Smedley to make it happen.
Public libraries are looking for ways to evolve and the FFL is not the only one that has added a maker space. We wrote not long ago about the Westport Connecticut Library. They held a “maker fair” last April that was so successful they also decided to create a maker space inside their library.
We’ve been quietly discussing buying a 3D printer right now and using it in library meeting rooms until we can rent our own space. Now I’m wondering if we should try and formally partner with some of our community’s libraries.
The libraries could learn, without cost, if access to 3D printers or other tools is something their patrons would like. And if it is something they can provide, like the computers and computer classes they provide now. Our maker space would get valuable publicity and places to regularly use our 3D printer and hold classes about it.
Anyone interested in going to Fayetteville soon on a Saturday to learn more about their “Fab Lab” and MakerBot 3D printer?
Makers Org NZ takes the concept of a makerspace to a new place. Traditionally these clubs are a space for members to come together, share project ideas and learn new aspects of design while using communal equipment that would be too expensive to buy on their own. Members of Makers Org NZ get all that—except the space and equipment parts.
The club has no actual space of its own, but instead arranges get-togethers and offers a place for people to share the projects they have made. It aims to be “the online focus point” for makers in New Zealand, and has links to other actual makerspaces throughout the nation. Makers Org NZ also organizes and promotes workshops, including some a bit outside the traditional metalworking and woodworking found at the average makerspace. One workshop taught participants how to assemble and play Nebulophones, which are small electronic instruments that create synthesized music. Once the workshop ended participants were able to share a few beers and have a jam session.
While bringing together makers and creators is the main aim, the overarching goals Makers Org NZ are a bit more high-minded. It tries to bring people from all walks of life together, from professionals to new graduates to simple enthusiasts who love their craft. The club has a special attention on children, trying to impart in them a “maker mindset” that steers them away from a consumer lifestyle and teaches them to create for themselves.
Makers who visit the site can find forums about tips and projects and a calendar with meet-up events throughout New Zealand. There are links to the five other makerspaces in New Zealand, along with short descriptions of each one and the features they offer. The site also connects members to resources, like online suppliers and a 3D printing company based in New Zealand.