A Maker Space is a not for profit community resource where anybody can learn how to use digital tools, collaborate on projects or just make things for their own use. The idea is to make communities more self-sustainable, improve skills and employment prospects as well as giving people the opportunity to be more creative.
In collaboration with Sustainable St Agnes, a local environmental group, I run a Maker Space on the 2nd Saturday of each month and open my workshop to anyone in the community who wants to learn how to use digital tools. During the day there is a 3-hour morning session from 10.00-1.00 and an afternoon session from 2.00-5.00. There is room for up to 3 people per session and the fee is just £5. I demonstrate how to prepare a computer graphic, set up either the laser cutter or the router and cut a piece of work. Participants then get the chance to design and create something of their own and a truly amazing variety of things have been made.
It is always a really enjoyable day for me and some of the great things that have been made can be seen below. At the moment this is Cornwall’s only open access digital workshop so if you want to get involved in the digital revolution or just want more information please email me: email@example.com
Equipment at the Maker Space includes a 2400 x 1200 CNC router for cutting and shaping large timber based materials such as plywood, mdf as well as solid timber. It has been used to make furniture, a shop sign and fit out campervans A 1200 x 600, 80watt laser cutter/engraver that has be used to make jewellery, children’s toys, leather goods and wall art, form thin ply, wood, card and leather. There are two 3D printers. One small delta printer that prints things up to 15mm diameter, and a large one that will make objects up to 450mm cube. They both print from a biodegradable plastic filament called PLA
You can download designs for all kinds of things from websites like www.instructables.com or www.thingiverse.com, or you can design your own creations using freely available, open source software such as Inkscape; https://inkscape.org/; or libracad; http://librecad.org. For more complex 3D designs you can use programs like Sketchup; http://www.sketchup.com/ or Blender; https://www.blender.org/
There is a nominal charge of £5.00 per person to cover insurance and consumables. Small amounts of scrap are available, but please bring suitable materials with you if you can and some ideas of what you’d like to make. Places are limited but if you would like to come along or need some advice about a project please email me with Makerspace in the subject: firstname.lastname@example.org