Is it a Hackerspace, Makerspace, TechShop, or FabLab?

Is it a Hackerspace, Makerspace, TechShop, or FabLab?

The past decade has seen the sudden, dramatic appearance of community spaces offering public, shared access to high-end manufacturing equipment. These spaces are interchangeably referred to as hackerspaces, makerspaces, TechShops, and FabLabs. This can lead the intended audience to become incredibly confused as to why there might be so many names for a single concept. I’d like to take some time to untangle the mess, explain the concepts behind each title, and talk about why I now make significant distinctions between all of these types of spaces.

Let’s start with the hardest to untangle – what’s the difference between a Hackerspace and a Makerspace?


I’ll start by saying that there are many people “in the know” who don’t make any distinctions between the term ‘hackerspace’ and ‘makerspace’. Truth be told, these people usually associate themselves with hackerspaces. I personally find that I need to differentiate between the two, because at this point the concepts and representations behind the words have diverged significantly for me. Let’s start with a little bit of history on hackerspaces, both paraphrased from Wikipedia and drawn from personal knowledge.

c-base Hackerspace, in Berlin.

The concept of a hackerspace started in Europe (anyone recognize the German linguistic construction?) as a collection of programmers (i.e., the traditional use of the term ‘hacker’) sharing a physical space. One of the first independent hackerspaces to open its doors was a German space known as c-base that opened in 1995; it currently boasts a membership of over 450 people, and is still active to this day. In August of 2007 (12 years after the European trend got started), a group of North American hackers visited Germany for Chaos Communication Camp, grew excited about the possibilities of having similar spaces in the United States, and came back to found NYC Resistor (2007), HacDC (2007), and Noisebridge (2008), to name a few. These spaces soon started adding electronic circuit design/manufacturing (directly related to their initial focus on programming) and physical prototyping to their lists of interests, and started expanding their offerings to include classes and access to tools via membership payments to pay the bills. Interestingly, the definition of the terms ‘hacking’ and ‘hacker’ started expanding to include working on physical objects as these spaces grew in popularity, and sought to differentiate themselves from the largely negative connotations of the term ‘hacking’ presented in the mainstream media. These spaces produced a couple of revolutionary businesses, including the well-known MakerBot Industries (born out of NYC Resistor), which is now in the process of dramatically changing the 3D printing industry.

Early electronics class at Noisebridge.

Dale Dougherty summed up the difference between making and hacking best for me during his keynote presentation at our How to Make a Makerspace event this past February; he said that before he founded MAKE Magazine, his original intention was to call the magazine HACK. When he presented the idea to his daughter, however, she told him no – hacking didn’t sound good, and she didn’t like it. Dale tried to explain that hacking didn’t have to just mean programming, but she wasn’t buying any of his arguments. She suggested he call the magazine MAKE instead, because ‘everyone likes making things’.

Dale’s anecdote sums up how I feel about the term ‘hacking’. To me, ‘hacking’ and ‘hacker’ are fundamentally exclusionary; whether they refer to the traditional act of programming to defeat or circumvent existing systems, or the act of working with physical parts, there’s a basic understanding that ‘hacking’ refers to a specific subset of activities that involve making existing objects do something unexpected. No amount of cajoling on my part will get a professional artist or craftsman unfamiliar with the terms to call themselves a ‘hacker’, or their vocation ‘hacking’; in fact, if I were to say “I like how you hacked that lumber together into that table” to a professional woodworker at Artisan’s Asylum, I would run the significant risk of insulting them.


The term ‘makerspace’ didn’t really exist in the public sphere until 2005 or so, however, when MAKE Magazine was published for the first time. The term didn’t really become popular until early 2011, when Dale and MAKE Magazine registered and started using the term to refer to publicly-accessible places to design and create (often times in the context of creating spaces for children). I’ve heard some speculation that the term ‘makerspace’ relates only to spaces that are specifically aligned with MAKE. I think the term ‘maker’ is older and so widespread at this point that the term ‘makerspace’ is much bigger than the MAKE network.

Olin College’s machine shop.

When I started Artisan’s Asylum in 2010, I was always uncomfortable calling it a hackerspace. I frequently used the awkward phrase ‘community workshop’ to describe our organization, for no other reason than I had no easy phrase for what I wanted the space to be. I modeled the space after the always-open workshops and tight-knit creative community at Olin College, my alma mater, with the intention that anyone should be able to make anything at any time out of (almost) any material; the original goal of the space was to democratize the act of making something from scratch as well as you can (whatever it may be) – not repurpose what already exists. At some point, I heard the term ‘makerspace’, and started using it as an easy way of describing what we were doing.

The welding shop at Artisan’s Asylum.

Once I heard the term ‘makerspace’, I started mentally categorizing hackerspaces and makerspaces differently. In my mind, hackerspaces largely focused on repurposing hardware, working on electronic components, and programming. While some spaces did work with more media and craft than that, the tools and spaces dedicated to those craft were often seen as secondary to the mission of the space. To some extent, hackerspaces also became associated in my mind with tendencies towards collectivism, and radical democratic process as a method for making decisions – an inheritance from European hackerspaces and early American hackerspaces like Noisebridge and NYC Resistor.

Immaculate MakerWorks shop facilities.

Makerspaces, to me, became associated with a drive to enable as many craft to the most significant extent possible. The different types of craft spaces involved weren’t considered afterthoughts, they were considered the whole point; whichever craft were represented in the space were represented with well-considered shop layouts, significant manufacturing infrastructure such as high-voltage electricity and ventilation, lots of supporting tools dedicated to each craft type, and appropriate tooling to accomplish a variety of projects. Each craft area could be used both by hobbyists and professional craftsmen alike, and the act of hosting multiple types of craft in the same space was the magnetic attractor to everyone involved. More often than not, the spaces were structured along the lines of traditional businesses (instead of democratic collectives), due to the significant expense and energy involved in maintaining multiple types of professional-grade craft areas and training new members to use the tools responsibly. Examples of makerspaces in my mind included Artisan’s Asylum, MakerWorks, and the Columbus Idea Foundry, to name a few, and spawned such companies such as Pebble and Square.

TechShops and FabLabs

These are the two easiest titles to untangle, for a very simple reason – they’re trademarked names! Referring to a space as a ‘TechShop’ or ‘FabLab’ when it’s not affiliated with either business or program is like calling every tissue Kleenex.

TechShop member working a CNC mill.

TechShop is the name of a chain of for-profit spaces started in 2006 in Menlo Park, California, that calls themselves “America’s First Nationwide Open-Access Public Workshop”. Before the terms ‘makerspace’ or ‘hackerspace’ were widely known in the United States, TechShop was offering public access to high-end manufacturing equipment in exchange for membership fees. TechShop has always focused on providing public access to a variety of craft areas with supporting equipment infrastructure; all of their facilities include woodworking, machining, welding, sewing, and CNC fabrication capabilities, to name a few.

A FabLab in Amsterdam.

FabLabs are a network of spaces started by Neil Gershenfeld at the Center for Bits and Atoms in MIT’s Media Lab around 2005, inspired by an MIT course called How to Make (Almost) Anything. The founding principle of a FabLab is that there is a core set of tools (including basic electronics equipment, a lasercutter, a vinyl cutter, a CNC router, a CNC milling machine, and more) that allow novice makers to make almost anything given a brief introduction to engineering and design education. FabLabs have a very specific set of space requirements (often sufficing with 1,000- to 2,000-square feet), required tools (specified exactly by model and type), supporting software for said tools, and curriculum, and can be thought of as a kind of franchise (though MIT retains little to no control over the actions of local spaces). FabLabs are required to be open to the public for little or no cost for recurring periods through the Fab Charter, frequently teach children, and are most often run by local non-profit organizations.

In my mind, both TechShop and FabLab are makerspace franchises; they focus on creation from scratch, through multiple types of media. Ironically, both came into being before the term ‘makerspace’ was widely used, and as such their trademarked names have more staying power right now than the overarching term.


Some people may argue that I’m quibbling and making distinctions where there are none to be had – to each their own! Personally, I find this kind of categorization and description helpful when I think about the different kinds of spaces that are out there, and what they’re fundamentally trying to do. I think traditional hackerspaces that focus largely on electronics and programming appeal to a certain group of people, and that’s great. I think makerspaces, as I’ve laid them out here, represent a far more mainstream vision of a publicly-accessible creative space, and have a unique set of draws and distinctions. Hopefully these distinctions help you think about what kinds of creative spaces you’re interested in, and how you can start or join such a space!

47 thoughts on “Is it a Hackerspace, Makerspace, TechShop, or FabLab?

  1. David Lang says:

    Very helpful!! I wrote an almost verbatim section in Zero to Maker. Rock on Gui! Keep these posts coming.

  2. Aaron Falk says:

    A nice note. The “Original Hacker’s Dictionary” has a lengthy and perhaps most relevant definition of ‘hack’. The first definition is:

    HACK n. 1. Originally a quick job that produces what is needed, but not well.

    I think that supports your intuitive sense that a master craftsman would not consider his work a hack. There’s also an implied cleverness to the term hack which isn’t always part of the fabrication found in makerspaces.

  3. Peter Troxler says:

    Nice write up. Interesting to read, that you perceive FabLabs as trademarked and a franchise. Makes me feel proud of the brand!

    In actual fact, FabLab is not trademarked (except in the Netherlands), and FabLabs are definitely not a franchise. To the contrary! I’d even argue that you’ll find more variety in FabLabs than in hackerspaces. FabLabs share a common set of values (the charter) – as hackerspaces adhere to a hacker ethics.

    I do have the feeling that (some) FabLabs even are more than “just” interchangeable community spaces offering public, shared access to high-end manufacturing equipment. While I’m struggling to find a good shorthand description, I’d settle today for: they form a global community of local labs experimenting with fundamental socio-technical change.

    1. Gui Cavalcanti says:

      Peter, you make great points. You’re correct in stating that FabLab is not a trademarked name – I just did a search with the U.S. patent office. My experience with FabLab has stemmed from them touring through Artisan’s Asylum (MIT is literally 2 miles away) and discussing the idea of ‘installing a FabLab’ in Artisan’s Asylum – implying that what Artisan’s Asylum currently is, does not fit the model. That conclusion was come to when comparing our list of tools to the required list of tools (which mostly varied in model, not in type), and when we compared the ability to access our tools to the requirements of free access dictated in the charter. That’s what’s lead to my thought of them as more of a ‘franchise’, even if they’re not franchised per se.

      1. Peter Troxler says:

        How to facilitate open access… The interpretation of the charter is “a fab lab must be open to the public for free or in-kind service/barter at least part of the time each week” where the “in-kind” gives you loads of possibilities.
        …and the infamous machine myth: it is an ongoing discussion, yet without going into all the tech details, it is perfectly OK to have a different laser cutter and a different mill to what MIT recommends—it just means that you could not replicate all MIT projects on your machines or rather that it would take a bit more time to do so. Check for details.

  4. johnstoner says:

    I think of hackerspaces/makerspaces as basically equivalent, but arrived at from different directions. Hackerspaces are started by coders and the like who are expanding their interest from bits to include atoms. Makerspaces come at it from the other direction, people with more craft skills sharing tools and space… maybe there’s less coding going on, but not necessarily.

    I’m a founding member of PS1, and it certainly fits both descriptions. There’s a wood shop and a metal shop and an electronics lab, and a very active CNC build group making all kinds of 2D and 3D fabrication devices. There’s brewing with Raspberry Pi controlled brewing setup. So there’s a lot of coding and mixing coding into other projects.

    1. Gui Cavalcanti says:

      Honestly, I feel like Artisan’s Asylum has evolved over time from being similar parts makerspace and hackerspace, to mostly makerspace, given the definitions I set out in the post. We still have an electronics library, an active community of people swapping electronics cruft, and the like, but they’re overshadowed by the huge number of people doing professional-level (or advanced hobbyist-level) work in the shops.

  5. Stephen Cameron says:

    Surprise surprise, the guy writing on MAKEzine blog prefers Makerspace to hackerspace and doesn’t appear to be aware of the etymology of the word hacker and assumes his own experience of the word is the canonical experience.

    1. Gui Cavalcanti says:

      Thanks for the unwarranted assumptions! In fact, Artisan’s Asylum was started in part because the local hackerspace (Willoughby & Baltic) didn’t offer the professional environment, craft areas, or tools needed to create the robots I work on – mostly, legged robots over 200 pounds like BigDog, LS3, and Stompy the giant hexapod. Having visited several self-described model hackerspaces (including Noisebridge and NYC Resistor), I’ve found that the experience held true – the spaces weren’t manufacturing centers, and generally didn’t have the infrastructure to support professional craftsmanship. Am I missing something?

      1. Al Billings (@openbuddha) says:

        Yes, you are because your sample size is too small. Ace Monster Toys, a hackerspace in Oakland, dedicates half of its space to a dirty shop. It has woodworking tools (saws, lathes, etc), a laser cutter, a large CNC mill (for wood, like a shopbot), a metal mill now being CNC’ified, and a lasercutter larger enough to put sheets of plywood in. We’re still a hackerspace.

        Most of us identify “makerspace” with the trademark of Make Magazine and O’Reilly media, which is why we don’t call our space such or ourselves, “makers.” We’re not part of Make Magazine, Maker Faire, and so forth, which is where we associate the term. No one owns a copyright/trademark on hacker and it is the older term, so we use it.

        1. dj90 says:

          The similarity to trademarked terms is a very valid concern. The risk of problems with Maker Media seems low now, but next year might bring a different team with different ideas. If Maker Media has released a statement on the issue, I’d be interested in reading on it. I haven’t poked around that issue much yet.

  6. Vincent Lai says:

    Psssst. Someone forget to mention the Repair Cafes and fixerspaces (like the Fixers Collective).

    1. Gui Cavalcanti says:

      It’s true! I’ve just never heard of those getting mixed up with hackerspaces/makerspaces/etc, truth be told.

      1. Vincent Lai says:

        You’re right – fixing spaces don’t get mixed up with hackerspaces, makerspaces, techshops, and fablabs. There’s a parallel conundrum on the fixing side though, as people not only fix and repair, they also craft and mend and there are other verbs that also speak to the same idea of extending the life of an object. While we’ve seen terms like repair cafes, fixerspaces, and fixers collectives, I’m sure others are floating around, too.

        1. Peter Troxler says:

          …but there are quite some FabLabs doing “Repair Cafés”, and I would be surprised if I could not find a hackerspace doing it ;)
          I always thought of “Repair Café” as a “format” rather than a “channel” (forgive my 20th century analogies)

  7. Jake Howe says:

    Hey, great article.

    Over here in the UK, we actually chose to call our spaces ‘Hackspaces’ dropping the ‘er’ from ‘hacker’. Putting emphasis on the word Hack as an action.

    There are plenty of spaces in the UK, with different names relating to Hack, Make, Build, Fix etc.
    However they are all pretty much in the same place in terms of being great spaces that actually include both the types of hacking and making you describe in your article.

    At Nottingham Hackspace we have a massive workshop section, filled with woodworking and metal working tools, we have a nice studio area for programmers, designers, we have a craft room, we have an electronics bay. We are fortunate to have such a variety of people. Having those things in one place is great, for example, someone might ‘hack’ an old games console, then ‘make’ a fancy enclosure to put it in.

    At the recent maker faire the UK Hackspace Foundation had a massive map up which was covered in every makerspace hackspace or equivalent we could find or knew about.

    Its about being inclusive, both in terms of encouraging anything creative in your space, as well as different ‘spaces standing together as one movement and community.

    Hey, we even have a Ukelele Orchestra at our space.

    1. René Paré says:

      That sounds really great JAKE!
      We as MAD emergent art center in Eindhoven experience a shift or transition of formal denotations of hackers, makers, designers, artists, engineers, architects, innovators; and their Spaces, Labs, Studios, Ateliers into new forms of merged creative technology.

      We are all part of a revolution that is called future it seems. At the recent Summit of Future Centers Alliance I learned that being prepared for the unexpected is crucial. And also that all we research and create and innovate is essentially directed to social innovation.
      The common space we want to live in is our common goal.
      That said, I confess I like to see our own MAD artist-initiated lab-turned-innovation lab grow into a city lab / future lab.

      Sometimes we need new terms/ names for the things we do, and the connections between hacker spaces, maker spaces, fab labs, art labs etc could lead to a broader, more powerful identification of the transitional dynamics.
      The future is ours!

  8. Justin says:

    Do you think the qualities that make the difference in these spaces are going to blur the line between them? As people of similar mindsets but from different backgrounds come together in places usually designated at one or the other and creating places that have room for both? Or do you believe that spaces that have an ambiguous nature may start to gravitate to one specific form or another? I’m thinking geography and demographics may have something to do with it.

    1. Gui Cavalcanti says:

      Personally, I think it will be less about people wanting to pick a name and more about people wanting to pick a mission. To me, the term ‘hackerspace’ and the definition I’ve laid out imply more of a communal, clubhouse type of feeling, with tools seen as secondary. ‘Makerspace’ implies something more business oriented, or at least something a little more focused more on making than on social connection. I think this is a choice any space has to make at one point or another, whether they choose to call themselves makerspaces, hackerspaces, or something else altogether. That choice dictates how their business grows and evolves, and what kind of community gets engaged. Overall, I think groups will pick one form or the other, and what they call themselves may or may not line up to this particular article.

      1. Mark Hatch says:

        Inclusion and community are the most important attributes by far. We (TechShop) are laser focused on the development of the community. One of the primary reasons we focus on large facilities is to attract a large cross-section of the local creative community. We have found that there is magic that starts to happen when you reach 800+ members or so. It gives the place a breadth and depth of community that is stunningly refreshing.

        One attribute of the larger community, specifically, is that there are enough people onsite at all times that most of the problems a maker runs into can be resolved by reaching out to someone, physically, right there, right now. We like to say you are a few minutes and two degrees of freedom away from your breakthrough (in a large vibrant community of makers). Ask a staff member who you should talk to and they will help you find that person onsite right now. This leads to virtuous circle that brings more makers into the space because they learn they can be successful with the help of the community… which adds more talent to the place… which leads to more successful projects…

        Tools are critical to draw the community in, but it is the community that makes the place vibrant. We have a lot a tools, not because we are tool-hounds, but because we believe in the communities that arise around a large diverse number of them. (Maintenance is also an issue which is why we carry multiples of many or the more popular tools that have lead times for parts).

        We are not just building a community for communities sake, but a transformative experience for the members in that community so that they can move from where they are to where they want to be, or who they want to become. This transformation is facilitated and developed by scaffolding multiple maker experiences on top of one another over time. Delivering that experience is the true mission.

        I think most, if not all, of the hackerspaces, makerspaces and labs have this in their heart… that of delivering a transformative experience. But each brings their resources, experience, operational abilities, insight and personal proclivities to do the best they can.

        We are still very, very early in this movement. It feels like the top of the first inning to me.

        Thanks again for kicking this topic off.

  9. ShannonCB says:

    I hope that soon we can just call many of these/spaces libraries, as more libraries further support the creative as well as informational needs of their communities–whatever flavor that creativity takes. But, since my dissertation research is on public library maker spaces (or whatever) I REALLY appreciate these distinctions! I add libraryfarms, fiber arts equipment, etc. to the “makerspace” idea. Because all this old-school making is beyond the sexy (& awesome) digitally-mediated stuff, and many libraries are already freely offering space for creation-collaboration.

  10. Mark Hatch says:

    I think there is another category, “Makerlabs.”

    Putting TechShop and FabLab in the same category feels odd at a couple of levels. Probably the largest deferences being the physical size (15,000 to 24,000 sq ft.), equipment ($1,000,000 plus in hardware and software), target support of 1,000 to 1,500 current members per location, size of the staff, hours of operation, etc.

    At a couple 1,000 sq ft, a $100k (or less) in equipment, general focus on exposure and STEM education, a FabLab has an importantly different focus and mission.

    These all work together, but many that are starting to call themselves MakerSpaces are really MakerLabs.

    I guess the other way to refine the distinctions would be to call a TechShop sized space a Maker Emporium, or some such thing. I like Lab better as it is already a word in use in this space and is a pretty good description.

    Thanks for the article, I often spend precious time in my presentations helping the audience understand the differences.


    Mark Hatch
    CEO, TechShop

    1. Gui Cavalcanti says:


      It sounds like your distinction comes from the size and mission of the space – a large facility (10,000+ sqft) serving hundreds would need to somehow be distinguished from a small facility serving fewer, or perhaps a different market altogether. I’d agree that some sort of distinction is needed, but I think the language is convoluted enough (and not universally agreed-to enough) that any new terms would get lost in the noise at this point in time. Maybe in another couple of years, we could make a significant distinction?

      Regardless, I think the name FabLab covers the spaces you’re talking about for right now. Makerspaces, as I present them here, only really start to make sense at the 5,000+ square foot level where they can support multiple shop environments. FabLabs tend to stay small, at least at the beginning, because they have a fixed amount of equipment they’re interested in.


      1. Gary Oshust says:

        My space, SPark Workshop Brooklyn is in the 10,000 sqft category, but I tend to think of it as more of a creative space. We make stuff here, we fabricate stuff here and we hack stuff here. I feel the label is not as important as what goes on in these spaces and like inclusion of all sorts of creative types, from technical to artistic. I tend to use the term that the person wanting to use my shop is comfortable with. I want different disciplines of people at SPark in hopes that the cross pollination will help something new and unexpected be created. At the end of the day it should be about the people and their objects being created and not what we call the space we are in.

  11. chuck says:

    What about Maker Faires? With increasing licensing fees and decreasing support some of us are questioning the need to hold officially licensed ‘Faires’. What’s a good generic name for a DIY oriented technology and craft fair? Will ‘Maker Faire’ become similar to ‘Kleenex’, ‘Xerox’ or ‘Velcro’ as a catch-all name?
    I think the future of maker/hackerspaces is inclusion. To survive and make a positive impact on our communities we need to cater to any discipline that falls under the DIY banner and has a community to support it. I’d love to see a place that supports multi material fabrication, coding, crafts, blacksmithing, art, music, repair, gardening, cooking, brewing and anything else folks can think of to do. I think the philosophy of sharing and teaching with an emphasis on DIY and self reliance is core and it applies to far more that just computers, CNC machines and circuitry, it ultimately applies to every facet of our lives.

    1. petertro says:

      I could not agree more!

    2. Gui Cavalcanti says:

      I wholeheartedly agree with you! I think inclusion is the key, and reaching out and appealing to a mainstream audience is what will grow this type of thing into an international movement.

      At some point, I want to write an article on how some types of inclusive space policies (such as purely democratic decision making processes) actually have an exclusive effect in the long run, because it’s a fascinating study. That day is not quite this day, but it’s coming soon.

  12. michauderic says:

    Hi There,

    I’m Eric, you may or may not know me from the How To Start A Hackerspace Series.

    The intent of your post is positive and I think that’s a good thing however, I wanted to submit a significant number of corrections regarding your statements and the current realities of our Spaces today.

    Since so many of my colleagues have already chimed in I’ll just add that I’m in agreement with the disagreements and corrections suggested by:

    Mark Hatch
    John Stoner
    Al Billings
    Vincent Lau
    Peter Troxley

    In addition to my colleagues here I would add that Hackerspaces are not mostly “Democratic Collectives” and often do follow traditional business models.

    Please feel free to reach out to me anytime. I’d be happy to contribute to your fact checks and am open to conversation anytime. You may find this other article on How to Start A Hackerspace Money and Resources helpful as well.

    Best Wishes,

  13. Is it a Hackerspace, Makerspace, TechShop, or FabLab? klcmaker says:

    Reblogged this on NoCo Mini Maker Faire.

  14. Jerry Isdale says:

    The Makerspace term was in play before 2010. When the group came together to start Crashspace (LA, CA) in fall 2009, we quickly settled on calling it a makerspace. I use the term all the time now as the overarching term for all the flavors, regardless of the size. Crashspace is about 1500sqft i think. Maui Makers was about the same size (till we had to move out in June). I think Gui’s 5000sqft min size is a bit exclusionary, as is the ‘business oriented’ aspect. Dale Dougherty has assured me on multiple occasions that Maker Media has no intent to trademark the term.

    1. bandit, Albuquerque says:

      Perhaps it would help if Make Magazine would issue a formal statement releasing the term into the public domain. That would help to settle the matter in a clean fashion. Otherwise, if Make Magazine were sold in the future, new owners could have a different policy.

  15. Darsha says:

    Great! Whatever they are, I love them and I call them sausage parties!

  16. Michaela Davis says:

    I think that it would be a good thing for Archer High School to have maker space workshop facilities. It would allow students to have a common place and tools to help accomplish any project whether it be crafts, hobbies, or research; especially school projects. It would also be a significant improvement over just having libraries, as it would give students a great amount of resources and easy access. The elements and concepts of this movement such as having access to manufacturing equipment, wood working facilities, business tools would be effective learning tools in many subjects such as business courses, technology and computer classes, and computer classes, engineering, and design classes. The pros of having maker spaces in high schools today is because it’s a great resource for kids/teens to go to for projects for many of their high school classes. The main benefit is that any student could learn how to make almost anything with this type of technology. The main challenge would have to have 1000-2000 sq ft area of space, along with the tools and software that are required for having a maker space. Even though it is thought of to be a franchise MIT has little to no control for the actions of the spaces so it would be hard to oversee the miss use of it. In conclusion, besides the non-controllable factors and the space it would take, i believe it would be a great addition to have for the technology program here at Archer High school.

  17. Ratilal Vadhavana says:

    I am Ratilal Vadhavana, residing in Detroit, I am a scrollsaw artist, I want to learn cutting/engraving different material by Laser by using FabLab, can anybody please guide me in this regard, I am not much familiar with FabLab, my email Id is, I am located on Telegraph & Seven mile, If there are any places near by or far in Michigan please let me know, One of my friend guided me that FabLab is place where I can learn Laser operation, I know computer, I also make vector designs, my contact # 248-982-0423, Thanks

  18. Ratilal Vadhavana says:

    I am here in Detroit, Michigan

  19. Elise VanDyne says:

    This is a great explanation. May I have your permission to reprint this blog post on our websites (with full attribution to you and Make):,

  20. cknich5 says:

    Reblogged this on Denver Mini Maker Faire.

  21. Carole Wai Hai says:

    Very helpful, thanks! I never heard about FabLab until moving to Europe and found this article. Great sharing.

  22. aticoexport says:

    We are mechanical laboratory equipment manufacturer and exporter company in ambala, India since 1954 with a range of products for school, colleges and others click more

  23. Nigel Tolley says:

    It is an old debate, one which I’ve never cared for: Hackspace, Hackerspace & Makerspace all roll together. The only issue? The word ‘Hack’ is so scary to some people that it is, in the UK, sometimes better to avoid the word altogether. Certainly in our case where I was convincing the local council to give us a building!
    We went with a Makerspace name, Make:Bromyard. It is going OK so far, it’s been a month! :-) Check us out at

  24. Nils Hitze says:

    And now a german company registered the Trademark here in Germany

    1. Steve Greenfield says:

      Can they do that even though it is already in generic useage? In the USA, that can prevent you from registering a trademark.

      1. Nils Hitze says:

        they failed and now no one is able to do it again, ever

  25. Brett Truett says:

    Hi! If you’re in the Mohawk Valley area near Utica in upstate NY, I’m looking to open-up later this year. We’ll have about 4,000 sq ft on two upper floors, plus another building that could support metal and or wood working tools. Not sure of format, but considering lots of options Survey here for your thoughts I’m not too concerned about names; maker, hacker, let’s talk it over. Thanks!

  26. David Riewe says:

    When I open up a circuit then induce a signal to test a portion of it I am hacking it, plain and simple, used that term 30 years.

  27. Niels Schotten says:

    I think that hack/haking has a bit of a negative undertone in the public’s eye. To me a hackerspace is a place where one would modify existing things to be used for something else. A makerspace is more of a scratch build kind of environment.
    As for the registered/trademarked versions. They are quite clear as to their intent.

  28. Jeff Johnson says:

    Just as not all whisky is bourbon, all bourbon is whisky, I consider hackerspace to be a makerspace, but one run by the membership model where they “own it”, as opposed to government funded (schools, libraries, grants, etc).

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Founder of Artisan's Asylum, co-founder of Project Hexapod, former systems integrator and mechanical engineer at Boston Dynamics, and contestant on the new Discovery Channel show The Big Brain Theory.

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