Meet the Maker… Spaces!

Spaces

Makerspaces (sometimes called “Hackerspaces”) are collaborative workshops where individuals can come together to share knowledge, skills, ideas, and equipment. Typically these spaces are in larger cities, and consist of volunteers who run things on a day-to-day basis. Members may have interests as diverse as wood working, electronics, crafting, forging, art, digital fabrication, and on and on. Often you’ll find traditional tools like tables saws and sewing machines along side 3D printers and CNC routers.

Here’s a quick look at a few of the makerspaces that you’ll meet Maker Faire Milwaukee

Milwaukee Makerspace

Milwaukee Makerspace started with about a dozen makers who would meet once a week at the local Culvers and talk about robotics and electric vehicles. They moved into their first space in Bay View with just a dozen members back in 2010. Since then they’ve grown to nearly 200 members and a 16,000 square foot facility with multiple 3D printers, laser cutters, and members working at all times of the day and night on various group and personal projects. (Milwaukee Makerspace is also the co-host of Maker Faire Milwaukee!)

Appleton Makerspace

Up in the Fox Valley is Appleton Makerspace, which started with a group known as DHMN (“Distributed Hacker/Maker Network”) and eventually secured a space and is now known as Appleton Makerspace. The space has a small but active group of members working on projects such as a “Ham Shack” for Ham radio activities, a paintball sentry gun, CandyBot, a “wookie box”, and there’s even one member building an airplane!

The Bodgery

Originally known as “MadCity Makers”, the members of The Bodgery (often called “Bodgers”) recently moved into a new space in Madison, Wisconsin. The new building is bigger and better than before, and continues to gain new equipment, and attract new members. (One of their bigger projects is the Madison Drone Racing League!) Like most spaces, they have “open nights” where the public can come in and find out more about what the space is, and what the members do. Stop in any Friday at 7pm to find out more.

Pumping Station: One

As we’ve mentioned before, Pumping Station: One will be on-hand to help you make a “PS: One Noisemaker”, which is an optical theremin that requires no soldering. We’re also please to welcome PS:1 as our “out of state” makerspace. Pumping Station: One is located in Chicago, Illinois and has hundreds of members with hundreds of projects, including things like the “Dumb Robot Competition”. (PS:1 is also where The Power Racing Series originated.)

If you’re wondering if there is a makerspace in your town, check out wiki.hackerspaces.org which features a user-maintained list of all active hackerspaces throughout the world.