Members of Maui Makers don’t have to look far to understand the DIY ethic of the club. In fact, they don’t have to look any further than the building itself. Located in a shipping container that was modified and fitted into a workshop, the makerspace is a place for makers of all kinds on Hawaii’s second-largest island to meet and hone their crafts.
Maui Makers sees itself as something of a Fab Lab, with a focus not only on giving members means of physical production but also putting a strong focus on technology. Even in the smaller space, Maui Makers has the equipment to suit a range of interests. It has a Epilog Helix 24 Laser Cutter, a Cupcake CNC 3D printer and a desktop CNC mill. There are air compression tools, smoldering stations, wood lathes and saws and an inventory of microcontrollers and other electronics to round out the equipment.
The club has a lot of interaction with other DIY groups and clubs on Maui, including the Maui Techies group. It also collaborates often with artists from the Source International Arts Festival, an annual art, music and healing festival with a focus on multi-media arts.
To help expand the skills of its members, Maui Makers puts on a series of workshops focused on building beginner-level skills. There are classes on using the laser cutter, learning basic electronics and soldering and how to use the Makerbot or LabView. Maui Makers also holds open meetings every Thursday evening so members of the public can come and see what the club is all about.
There’s a lot more to Maui Makers than a converted workshop and weekly meetings. One of its initiatives, Young Makers Maui, aims to get young people involved in various aspects of making and encouraging them to showcase their work at an annual makers fair. The club has a very active Google Groups message board where members share ideas and talk about the projects they’re working on. There is also a wiki page with information about the club’s equipment and some of its areas of focus. Readers can also see photos and links to some cool projects, like one member’s plans to convert an aluminum ladder into a truck rack for carrying equipment. It’s a cool project for anyone to try out, whether they’re in Maui or not, and can save hundreds of dollars it would cost to buy a truck rack.