How would you like your makerspace?
It’s now time to start looking for an space to call ours. We need to know what kind of space will works best for our community. I need some feedback from you. What are the things that you (as a potential member) would want in your makerspace?
@arasbm, you asked me to comment (in another thread) on my impressions of Zen Makerspace in Vancouver … maybe I will comment about it here as it may have elements about it we all like … feel free to move this comment as you see fit.
Zen Makerspace is actually two separate entities (operated by the same business group) in one building. The building is a former industrial site suitable for a small, light industrial operation (open shop floor on the main floor and office space on the top floor … each floor is about 2000 sqft). On the top floor is an innovation hub (similar to what is here in Kamloops?) called Zen Launchpad that provides workspace and services for start-up companies … I would say that the companies taking advantage of this space are in technology development. The lower floor hosts Zen Maker Lab.
The building is nicely laid out;the top floor has been converted to open-concept workspaces and a board room for meetings, the maker space is slowly being built up … it is pretty bare-bones right now, but they have created a separate area for quiet activities and the heavier (noisier) equipment is located on the shop floor.
Both activities (the maker space and the hub) are privately operated … I do not know too much about the fee structure involved for the hub. The maker space is new (less than a year old) and now has a small set of equipment including a laser cutter, 3D printers and a CNC router … there is still a lot of room for equipment. Both spaces offer workshops (for a fee) on topics interesting to the local community.
I know about this space because the independent school my kids are in (SelfDesign) has an arrangement with the Maker Lab to rent space for an afternoon each week to host maker activities (Helen and I built part of our 3D printer there). Last year the maker space was empty … just us and some tables … it has been interesting to watch it develop.
All-in-all, a really attractive space … I like the idea of a business incubator on one floor that can take advantage of a maker space open to the community on the other floor.
Some of the physical aspects that appeal to me about this space:
- open industrial space with high ceilings and a garage door for access
- board room for meetings and workspace oriented to computer work
- ability to host workshops comfortably
Things that could be improved:
- more floor space
- more equipment
I like the idea of a business incubator on one floor that can take advantage of a maker space open to the community on the other floor
Yeah Zen Launchpad sounds very similar to our own Kamloops Innovation Center. I have talked to @Kimberely and @lincolns a few times about possibility of sharing the building with KIC, specially since there is an unused space downstairs in the current building. They are very supportive of the idea, but that space is a bit too small for us and can not support a metal shop, which seems to be interesting to people here.
The maker space is new (less than a year old) and now has a small set of equipment including a laser cutter, 3D printers and a CNC router
I am curious, what particular tools did you feel they were missing?
Thanks for the write up @Chris, this is very helpful.
If anyone else has ideas about the space, please don’t hesitate to share.
When I picture a maker space I see a pretty comprehensive wish list of tools … so a list of tools might be:
- basic hand tools (screwdrivers, wrenches, sockets, hammers …)
- woodworking (saws, planer, router, drill press …)
- machining (mill, lathe …)
- welding equipment
- prototyping (3D printer, laser cutter, computers)
We rent a space for Dog Training on 12th and Battle, from KWest Mechanical. I know part of that building is still for lease, but I’ve never seen it. Might be worth checking out? It’s super accessible, not tons of parking but enough, and I don’t know what amenities it offers.
@hdsheena cool! If you have more details about the space, for example who to contact to book a viewing, feel free to message me with it. I will try to organize a time to go and check it out. I would love to find a building with lots of outdoor space available, it is really handy specially in summer time.
An ideal makerspace for me would have a substantial amount of comfortable laptop working space, rather than just entirely “shop space”. I’d love to have access to basic electronics tools like soldering irons and drills, and larger shop tools are less imperative to me!