• Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

Hacker-space, maker-space etc.

Mickster

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #1
Is anyone a member of one of these and/or helped to set one up?
If so, is the funding from member donations, private company donations/sponsorship, government grants, or any combination thereof?

There is nothing like this locally to me, but IMO, when someone is provide with the facilities to unlock what they didn't know they had inside them, especially in disadvantaged areas, it can open wide-ranging avenues they never knew existed for them, and potentially kick someone in the behind towards personal empowerment & entrepreneurial opportunities.

I would like some pointers towards potentially setting one up, if anyone can offer some advice.

Thanks in advance.
 

ronsimpson

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#2

gophert

Active Member
#3
Is anyone a member of one of these and/or helped to set one up?
If so, is the funding from member donations, private company donations/sponsorship, government grants, or any combination thereof?

There is nothing like this locally to me, but IMO, when someone is provide with the facilities to unlock what they didn't know they had inside them, especially in disadvantaged areas, it can open wide-ranging avenues they never knew existed for them, and potentially kick someone in the behind towards personal empowerment & entrepreneurial opportunities.

I would like some pointers towards potentially setting one up, if anyone can offer some advice.

Thanks in advance.
The maker spaces in my area went through some evolution - starting out with donations of space, cash and equipment. Then a realization that there are operating costs after the donations (electrical permits and installations, liability insurance, heat and electricity, ...).

Then a surge of new members once the place finally opened. The owners quickly realized the new members needed much more training to keep them safe and prevent them from damaging equipment (and wearing out/damaging bits, blades and anything else.

Then, after an extended closure and development of training materials and training program schedule, doors were reopened to facilities with higher monthly membership costs. Training classes were few and difficult to schedule, lots of idle equipment as members waited to be trained - and paid monthly membership dues as they waited to be trained - and stopped showing up as they waited to be trained - and stopped their memberships before they were ever trained.

Of the five started over the last 10-years, the one I know is still open is barely open. It is open on Friday evenings to show the facilities to potential new members. The fees are high, the equipment is slim, and the facility has more-or-less turned into a clubhouse for about 10 members to use as drinking and BS space to get away from their wives and kids a couple nights per week.

I thought it would be a good idea too but the economics just don't work out for most people (more than they want to spend because commercial space, liability insurance, equipment consumables are expensive. Also, clients/customers have the perception that they can make something at a much lower cost than they can buy something. Once the reality hits about how much their project materials will cost, how many odd-end supplies they will need (glue, brushes, paint, solvents, sand paper, fasteners, tape, ..) on top of the wood, hinges and handles, they start cringing. Other sites offering 3D printing maker services, the time and know-how required make people cring. First, they print a pre-designed project file from thingaverse.com and get pissed off that they have to wait to get machine time, then get pissed off that the first two attempts to print have failed for one of the many reasons 3D prints fail - then, when they finally have their herringbone gears, lattice, flower pot, stealth fighter, (or what ever), printed and in their hand, they get pissed off when they realize how much work it is to learn to create a 3D CAD object of their own.

So, I think it is a great idea and let me know where your shop is located, I would love to join.
 

ClydeCrashKop

Well-Known Member
#4
I agree with Gophert for the most part. The one I joined even had an award winning high school robotics club operating out of a small software company's building. A lathe & milling machine were donated. They had a 3-D printers & a CNC laser cutter. Very knowledgeable volunteers were giving electronic intro classes for young people and regular meetings for robotics, Arduinos, drones and web programming.

Then they put a lady in charge. She sterilized the Man Cave. She threw away all of the raw materials and anything that she couldn't identify. She thought the lathe & milling machine were ugly and dangerous so she gave them away. Then she closed the place for 2 months to redecorate & make it nice for her art friends. When it reopened, no body cared. As far as I know, it is closed now. https://www.facebook.com/hacklabnobo/

If you are in the U.S., Meetup.com is a great place to find groups on almost any subject.

You might talk a library into getting a 3-d printer. Groups can form based on that.
 

Mickster

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #6
Fort Collins makers space
http://www.fortcollinscreatorhub.org/
Loveland Colorado
https://lovelandcreatorspace.com/
Longmont
http://www.tinkermill.org/

With in driving distance there are a number of these.
I went to a class on Python at Fort Collins. It was offered through "senior classes" and activities.
The Loveland library has computers and 3D printing.
Thanks Ron,
do you happen to know how those spaces are funded? (I haven't had chance to look at the links yet, just got home.)

Regards.
 

Mickster

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #7
The maker spaces in my area went through some evolution - starting out with donations of space, cash and equipment. Then a realization that there are operating costs after the donations (electrical permits and installations, liability insurance, heat and electricity, ...).

Then a surge of new members once the place finally opened. The owners quickly realized the new members needed much more training to keep them safe and prevent them from damaging equipment (and wearing out/damaging bits, blades and anything else.

Then, after an extended closure and development of training materials and training program schedule, doors were reopened to facilities with higher monthly membership costs. Training classes were few and difficult to schedule, lots of idle equipment as members waited to be trained - and paid monthly membership dues as they waited to be trained - and stopped showing up as they waited to be trained - and stopped their memberships before they were ever trained.

Of the five started over the last 10-years, the one I know is still open is barely open. It is open on Friday evenings to show the facilities to potential new members. The fees are high, the equipment is slim, and the facility has more-or-less turned into a clubhouse for about 10 members to use as drinking and BS space to get away from their wives and kids a couple nights per week.

I thought it would be a good idea too but the economics just don't work out for most people (more than they want to spend because commercial space, liability insurance, equipment consumables are expensive. Also, clients/customers have the perception that they can make something at a much lower cost than they can buy something. Once the reality hits about how much their project materials will cost, how many odd-end supplies they will need (glue, brushes, paint, solvents, sand paper, fasteners, tape, ..) on top of the wood, hinges and handles, they start cringing. Other sites offering 3D printing maker services, the time and know-how required make people cring. First, they print a pre-designed project file from thingaverse.com and get pissed off that they have to wait to get machine time, then get pissed off that the first two attempts to print have failed for one of the many reasons 3D prints fail - then, when they finally have their herringbone gears, lattice, flower pot, stealth fighter, (or what ever), printed and in their hand, they get pissed off when they realize how much work it is to learn to create a 3D CAD object of their own.

So, I think it is a great idea and let me know where your shop is located, I would love to join.
Thanks gophert,
that raises some good points regarding how interest can drop off quite quickly and the membership dwindle down..
I need to look into avenues of approach regarding how this could be funded - hoping that Government & the private sector could be on-board.

Regards.
 

Mickster

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #8
I agree with Gophert for the most part. The one I joined even had an award winning high school robotics club operating out of a small software company's building. A lathe & milling machine were donated. They had a 3-D printers & a CNC laser cutter. Very knowledgeable volunteers were giving electronic intro classes for young people and regular meetings for robotics, Arduinos, drones and web programming.

Then they put a lady in charge. She sterilized the Man Cave. She threw away all of the raw materials and anything that she couldn't identify. She thought the lathe & milling machine were ugly and dangerous so she gave them away. Then she closed the place for 2 months to redecorate & make it nice for her art friends. When it reopened, no body cared. As far as I know, it is closed now. https://www.facebook.com/hacklabnobo/

If you are in the U.S., Meetup.com is a great place to find groups on almost any subject.

You might talk a library into getting a 3-d printer. Groups can form based on that.
Thanks Clyde,
this also raises a point about having the right people involved, so that nobody can mould it to their own wishes and alienate a lot of other members.

Regards.
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
#9
The Barn on Bainbridge Island in Washington State is probably the largest, nicest maker space you can find. It has a huge amount of community support and recently opened a brand new huge facility. The have the typical spaces for electronics, laser cutters, 3D printers, etc. But they also have a commercial kitchen/dining space, sewing and weaving spaces, a huge well-equiped woodworking shop, machine shop, glass and paper arts areas, etc, etc.

They worked years to get to this point, but the results are impressive.

Front.edit-1-e1519168722860.jpg Artboard-1.jpg
 

Mickster

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #10
Well, I've tried that and ran out of steam (and $s). Have a look at www.makerspacewest.ca and pm me if you feel like it. And where is "BDA"? E
Thanks E,
BDA is the beautiful island of Bermuda. As it is such a small island (22 sq miles) it may be worth approaching the Government and private sector for help with funding, because as it currently stands, the two main economic pillars are International Business (Insurance/Re-Insurance) and Tourism. There is a vast difference between the haves, and the have-not's here. Empowering those on the lower end of the scale could maybe help a few to realize their own potential and help them kick-start a business of their own in the future.....all they need is a nudge in a particular direction and some encouragement.
"There's nothing to do here!", is a saying which is often heard, probably more so in comparison to other countries, due to our size and isolated location. It's so easy for the younger people to become disenfranchised, because just like the wealth example above, education suffers in the same way. The education system is either very, very good, if you can afford the go private, or less than satisfactory if you choose the public system. Sure, there are youngsters coming through the public school system who are very bright and do well, but those numbers are certainly not the average. A lot of the International Business positions require degrees and such, so those on the lower end of the school systems end up missing out on those positions, so foreigners end up coming in from elsewhere, with their up to date qualifications and work permit roll-overs. This can cause a bit of resentment when locals can't find good paying jobs in their own country. Tourism relies on a lot of local staff, but the pay is not great for the types of jobs found in the hospitality industry, so people see the rich getting richer, foreign workers coming in and making decent money, but locals not getting an opportunity to get out from the low paying jobs.
Sorry for digressing this much, but you can probably see where I am trying to help people just get a foot on the ladder and make some change for themselves, especially the youngsters, because they are the labour force and entrepreneurs/business owners of the future.

Regards.
 

Mickster

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #11
The Barn on Bainbridge Island in Washington State is probably the largest, nicest maker space you can find. It has a huge amount of community support and recently opened a brand new huge facility. The have the typical spaces for electronics, laser cutters, 3D printers, etc. But they also have a commercial kitchen/dining space, sewing and weaving spaces, a huge well-equiped woodworking shop, machine shop, glass and paper arts areas, etc, etc.

They worked years to get to this point, but the results are impressive.

View attachment 113748 View attachment 113749
Thanks for that Jon,
something like that would be fantastic, if it could be brought to fruition here, pretty much something for everyone. I like the idea that seniors could be able to come in and pass on knowledge, which would otherwise not be shared. The seniors could stay active and feel more valued, the youngsters could pick up tips and tricks that are not taught in mainstream education, letting people from all walks feel valued.

Regards.
 

Mickster

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #12
This video is what made me really think about trying to put something like this in place:
I have never been to a hacker-space, or maker-space, so didn't really know what went on there. To see the diverse areas of interest at Noisebridge, for all kinds of people, kinda opened my eyes and the approach they have is pretty cool.

Thanks guys.
 

ronsimpson

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#13
do you happen to know how those spaces are funded?
funding:
There is a monthly fee. This is good if you don't have tools and do lots of hobby. In my case I have loads of tools.
There is a "free" membership if you teach one class a month or week. or donate one tool.
Then there is the "one class" idea. For $35.00 you can go to one class. C-class, Python class, welding 101, welding 202, drill press, etc.
The price of one class is about the same as a month of using tools.
Then there is the cooperate plan, For big $ your company gets to use everything.

If I was starting out from nothing again, I might consider pooling tools with a makers space or another company. We had good luck pooling a hardware and a software company. Both did well.
 

Mickster

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #14
Thank you very much for the info Ron.
We have some very wealthy foreign-owned businesses here, who sponsor events and their staff do some charitable work sometimes.
Maybe some of the many ex-pat accountants could pop in and teach Excel, or do math classes...
Seamstresses could teach young ladies, or men for that matter, how to make their own clothing, but team up with tech-minded members and combine wearable electronics...who would not be impressed by a young lady wearing a self-made skirt, with bucket-brigade LED's simulating a bioluminescent jellyfish?
The possibilities are huge, just need to open people's eyes up to available opportunities.....
 

ronsimpson

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#15
There are two ideas for "rent". For one price you get in the door and can use any tool that is not in use. For another price you get a cubical. That is your space. Lock the door when you are gone. Most start ups don't have money to rent a building.

There are several town near here where the town took a old building and divided it up and rents space to start ups. (rent is often free) You must post what you do on your door.
What happens is: A software engineer goes to the accounting person; "For $50 will you fix my books". The the accountant said; "so I need a bigger hard drive and I don't know how".
All the companies (for a price) can use the phone answer person. They all use the copy machine. FedEx delivers. You have a real address. "901 Industrial drive" There are conference rooms.
Some of the companies will pay tax some day. Many of the companies will merge or at least help each other.
 

shortbus=

Well-Known Member
#16
"There's nothing to do here!", is a saying which is often heard, probably more so in comparison to other countries, due to our size and isolated location. It's so easy for the younger people to become disenfranchised, because just like the wealth example above, education suffers in the same way. The education system is either very, very good, if you can afford the go private, or less than satisfactory if you choose the public system. Sure, there are youngsters coming through the public school system who are very bright and do well, but those numbers are certainly not the average. A lot of the International Business positions require degrees and such, so those on the lower end of the school systems end up missing out on those positions, so foreigners end up coming in from elsewhere, with their up to date qualifications and work permit roll-overs. This can cause a bit of resentment when locals can't find good paying jobs in their own country. Tourism relies on a lot of local staff, but the pay is not great for the types of jobs found in the hospitality industry, so people see the rich getting richer,
Sounds kind of like the US, but we lack the tourism.
 

KeepItSimpleStupid

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#17
Here's https://nextfab.com the one close to me. The cheapest "real membership" is like $49.00 USD per month with only 3 days a month of time.
It might take a "long time" to get a project done. It's a subscription model, whether or not you use it or not. Materials are extra too.

You have 3 days, but I don;t think that can be broken down as hours. e.g. 2hrs a day 8 days a month.

There's classes to take at an extra cost to gain proficiency and to be qualified to operate said equipment.

They also said that some equipment requires "reservation time" that has to be paid for. It also covers the cost to use such as power and, I guess, some consumeables.
Take a 3-D printer, laser cutter and a milling machine. The laser has to be replaced periodically. Who knows what else they charge for. For the mill, they might take on a "replacement bits" cost so they can replace stuff that wears and power consumption. 5 HP motor. You have coolant, tapping fluids and effectively overhead with each machine. A horizontal band saw would have coolant and blades. Right now,the max I could be away is about 3-4 hours at a time.

I "almost had" a retirement benefit of the use of a machine shop for $10.00 USD/hr. The benefit would not be the same shop and only 8-4:30. I had 24/7/365 day access to a machine shop. The welder was "off limits" to all but one person. I did successfully use a MIG/TIG and stick at least one very successfully after being set up by someone else. I did do the best silver soldering/brazing than anyone else. I did have a successful stint working with glass with a hydrogen/oxygen torch with mainly quartz and some borosilicate glass. I could do stuff like seal tubes under a vacuum. Put controlled leak holes in a sealed tube. Attach a round tube to a square one. If I was away from doing it for a while, I had to practice at least once first,

"We" thought the most dangerous piece of equipment was the table saw followed by the big lathe.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
#18
"We" thought the most dangerous piece of equipment was the table saw followed by the big lathe.
When I was at Grammer School the table saw was in a separate room, required a key to use - and only the teacher (Mr. Woodward - good name for a woodwork teacher :D) was allowed to use it. If you needed wood of a certain size, you told the teacher, and he supplied it to you.

One day we went to Woodwork Class, and the teacher had bandaged fingers - and refused any questions about them! - however, been a nosey character I went and carefully examined the table saw, and found spots of blood which had avoided the clean up :D
 

JonSea

Well-Known Member
#19
I will always remember something my woodshop teacher said - "Always use the proper tool for the job" - as he was using a square (picture below in case terminology is different) to hammer out the throat plate on a scroll saw.

21XK18_AS01.jpg
 

KeepItSimpleStupid

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#20
The main machinist left the wrench on top of the quill and turned on the mill. His head got clobbered with the wrench. The next day I cut wrench from a piece of furniture foam and labeled it a "safe wrench" and gave it to him on a makeshift placard.

Our other machinist got a metal sliver in the white of the eye while operating the mill.

My "dumb things" were I was using a file to make a custom lathe cutter and the file slipped and I cut my finger on the cutter I was making. Another one was when I didn't clamp down a piece of sheet metal on the drill press and turned it into a rotary cutter. A non-shop, bit work accident was when I dropped a quartz tube of red phosphorus and Zinc metal while sealing it under vacuum with a torch in a quartz tube. We were synthesizing very pure zinc phosphide at the time.
 

Latest threads

EE World Online Articles

Loading

 
Top