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Featured photo is All rights reserved by Trammell Hudson. Additional photo is (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Ben Stanfield.

Five years ago, hackerspaces in the U.S. were few and far between. HacDC (“the capital hackerspace”) celebrates and reflects on five years of our space and what we’ve accomplished.

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Here are some of the things we’ve done in our half decade of existence:

  • Held classes and workshops on robotics, AVR microcontrollers, bicycle maintenance, electron tubes, Python, visual communications, LED cubes, Scheme, tea, artificial intelligence, disassembly, and many other topics
  • Launched—and retrieved!—five high-altitude balloons, a.k.a. spaceblimps, the latest reaching an altitude of 118,533 ft
  • acquired 501(c)3 nonprofit status, meaning your donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law, so donate now!
  • Hosted six rounds of Lightning Talks
  • Formed W3HAC, an ARRL-affiliated, FCC-licensed amateur radio club
  • Set up 3D printers, a CNC mill, a lathe, a drill press, and a fully automatic espresso machine with plans underway to acquire a laser cutter
  • Hatched GrindDC, a weekly “meatup” where biohackers research topics like materials biocompatibility and neurostimulation
  • Developed Project Byzantium, a live Linux distribution that delivers easy-to-use, secure, and robust ad-hoc wireless mesh networking

Bio: Katie Bechtold
 HacDC Turns Five Years OldI operate an interplanetary spacecraft, help direct my local hackerspace, and practice chado, the Japanese Way of Tea. I like to explore new social structures including hackerspaces, which I’ve found are great places for learning useful skills and meeting awesome people. Apropos of social structures, social justice is important to me, so I try to engage with issues of race, gender, disability, class, and other social justice issues within the geek/hacker/open source community as my time and ability allow.


This post came to us by way of Make: Page 2, the DIY blog feed built by you! Submit your own MAKE blog content — what projects are you working on? What is your maker-/hackerspace up to? What MAKE-related content have you seen online that you want to tell is about? We want to hear from you! Just go to the Just fill out the Page 2 Submit form and we’ll take it from there.

Katie Bechtold

HacDC member


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