2. Maker Spaces: Finding what you need

How do you find a Maker Space?

The best way to find a Maker Space is online. Google really is your friend. There are resources for listing Maker Spaces that are available, Hackspaces as well (which are targeted towards digital products) and also FabLabs, which is another name that Maker Spaces described as. So type one of these into Google along with ‘nearest’ and you will tend to find a list of any Maker Spaces, HackLabs or FabLabs near you.

What kinds of kit can you find at these?

Every FabLab or Maker Space tends to have slightly different types of equipment. You need to do a bit of work on any project you are planning, to work out what kit you will need. You might need 3D printers, Fabric cutting, or even simply hammers and nails. Make sure that the Maker Space you are planning to go to has that equipment available.

What online resources do you recommend?

Instructables has tens of thousands of ‘recipes’ on how to make things, from knitting your own jumper to programming your own robot.

Thingiverse is a repository of 3D printable models, which you can download and be able to instantly be able to print anything from mobile phone cases, camera tripods, right through to the prosthetic hands we discussed earlier.

How can you get involved in a Maker Space?

Most Maker Spaces have some kind of open night or open day every week, fortnight or month. Your best bet is to check online to find out when that is, and head along there to get to know some of the other people using the space or get involved in some of the projects that are already on the go.

Activity: Search challenge

The search challenge is to come up with a project or product that you would like to make yourself. Have a look on Instructables or Thingiverse to see if you can find an open source version that you can either print, or build yourself, instead of buying it off-the-shelf.

Download images and instructions for something you would really like to make and record them, outlining the changes you would like to make so that it fits your purpose.

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