What is a Maker space? In layman’s terms, it is a huge clubhouse for inventor types. In more technical, correct terminology, it is a common physical location (as opposed to cyberspace on the internet), for craftsman, artists, inventors and “makers” of all things to congregate and work. It is a place where they can collaborate; share ideas, knowledge, and resources; socialize; work on projects or inventions; with access to a large variety of tools, training and equipment.
A “Dream Maker Space” is the Detroit Techshop, which anyone can join and use. It has developed a partnership with the Ford Motor Company that allows Ford employees to use TechShop’s facility and equipment for work or personal projects. Ford has strong hopes it will be a catalyst for economic recovery, new jobs and business for Detroit.
TechSpace is currently located in five cities and they’re getting ready to open a new one in Brooklyn. Their Detroit facility has 17,000 square feet and houses $750,000 worth of laser cutters, 3-D printers, CNC machines and tools of all kinds. In addition, TechSpace has “Dream Consultants” on hand to give advice and act as sounding boards. It is indeed an elite maker space facility.
Ford believes prototypes are taken more seriously than designs that are only on paper, and Ford executives, suppliers and the community are more apt to pay attention to them. Patent disclosures are up an impressive 30-percent since they launched the program. They say the patents are usually for the common and greater good; to be shared with all industries.
Whether a member of the Detroit Techshop is a young college graduate of engineering or art, or an industry person, an inventor or even a hobbyist, young or old, the tools and opportunities are there to build a dream.