What will you teach

Our makerspace is all about sharing, collaborating and learning. We’ve held a few classes and workshops and the plan is to have many more of these. I was perusing another makerspace’s site and got inspired to highlight some of the classes other spaces have held or will be holding.

So my question to you is, what will you teach us? By collaborating we strengthen each other, we all have something we can learn or teach.  All of our members are encouraged to Plan, Schedule, Teach, Volunteer and Attend classes.

Get involved, teach us what you know.

Here’s a few examples of what we could do..

Planning Meeting results 1/21/14

We’re gonna work to get events created for February soon.

The rundown is something like.

2/15/14 – We are going to drive to Malbis and meetup with the guys from ECCM (around early afternoon)
2/18/14 – Planning meeting in the evening
2/22/14 – Not locked in yet but possibly an open outdoor build day, bring a project

We are also working on promotional materials for the Teen Tech Extravaganza with the library. We are looking at doing small posters (letter page size) and bookmarks.

We need projects to show the public in the event in March, something that moves or blinks or beeps, something with interaction and results.

There will be more about that later.


Hackerspaces with Successful Kickstarters

Ben asked today (ben’s post) if we have considered using Kickstarter to gain some funding. So this evening I searched for spaces who have run kickstarter campaigns. This search yielded some very positive results..

Here’s some of what I found:


Los Angeles Makerspace

Raised $34,000 of $15,000 Goal

A Hackerspace Grows in Brooklyn.

by NYC resistor

Raised $3,000 of $2,000 Goal

Unallocated Space: A New Hackerspace

Raised $5,000 or $3,000 Goal

Mothership HackerMoms: The first women’s hackerspace!

Raised $12,000 of $10,000 goal

Hacker Scouts Oakland Lab

Raised $37,000 of a $35,000 goal.

(Hackerscouts looks like an amazingly fun program!)


These are success stories. Can we do something like this in Mobile? If we run a kickstarter would it get word of our organization out to the right backers?





NextFab Tour

I was in Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago and I got a chance to check out NextFab.  I was really impressed with their setup to say the least.  It was a 20,000 square-foot warehouse that had been renovated.  It contained a cafeteria (under construction) as well as offices, woodworking shop, welding shop, electronics shop, a paint booth, a camera studio, and an assortment of 3D printers.

The first thing to know is that this is a for profit makerspace.  Their business model revolves around many different sources of income including paying members, corporate memberships, government memberships, renting conference rooms for presentations, renting classrooms for teaching, and business incubation.

Electronics Shop

They have about 300 paying members.  When I asked about the popularity of the different shops he said that the woodworking shop was the most popular.  The people working in the wood shop consisted of mostly hobbyists, but some were people who built furniture or custom woodwork who needed extra capacity or space to complete a specific job.  While I was there the busiest area was the electronics shop and product design.  Lots of projects and various forms of completion.

Membership Levels:

  • Community(1day/month) – $30/month
  • Weekends – $79/month
  • 7 Days a week – $130/month

One thing my tour guide warned about was space.  While he liked having a camera studio, it went unused quite a bit.  When they needed it, it was really useful, but otherwise it was wasted space that could have been used for something else.  He also said that they would take large deliveries and store them for a fee.  This allowed people to have their materials delivered to the shop instead of their house.  As he explained all of this, I began to realize that their ability to monetize space was very important.

Computer Lab

Nextfab also offers their conference rooms for rent.  I wish I had a picture, but it was really professional.  People who needed to present to venture capitalists, or give any kind of presentation can rent the room, which had a long conference room table and a projector mounted to the roof.  He also said that they would host corporate team building exercises as well.

In addition, they host a business incubator.  For a fee, a person can rent a small office and have access to the resources of the makerspace and 24/7 access.  They were hosting about 3-4 businesses while I was there.  My tour guide also said that several smaller firms and some government agencies had memberships.  Mostly to get access to the massive 3D printers onsite for prototyping and design.  This included a Z-Corp full color 3D printer!  All told, they had about 10 different 3D printers onsite.

Z-Corp color 3D printer



All together it was a great visit and I really learned a lot.

You can view the full gallery of my visit HERE.

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Mobile Makerspace

Mon, Tues, Wed, Thu 6PM - 9PM
entrance on Warren Street