13 Smells You’ll Smell in Every Makerspace

1) Lasers burning things

source: Youtube

When you use a hot laser to cut through plastic or metal, there is a smell. No matter how well ventilated your makerspace is, you’re going to smell it when the laser gets fired up!

2) The aroma of 3D printing

source: Youtube

The two most common smells that come from a 3D printer are ABS and PLA. ABS smells just like typical melting plastic; it isn’t great. PLA on the other hand smells kind of sweet due to its corn-based construction.

3) Escaping spirits of burnt electronics

source: Youtube

That magic blue smoke just escapes sometimes. You’ll be working along on your circuit, just minding your own business, then POOF, the magic smoke is out. We’ve all been there, and we’ve all smelt it.

4) Body odor

Lets face it. We go to makerspaces and we get hot and sweaty. We spend long hours toiling over our projects gettting dirty, grimy, and yes, smelly. Body odor is as common as people in makerspaces, literally.

5) Compost

source: Youtube

Compost isn’t really stinky. At least, when done right, it shouldn’t be. That isn’t to say that there isn’t a smell involved. It’s more like the smell of dirt… mixed with rotting food.

6) WD40

source: Youtube

WD40 gets used on everything. It doesn’t matter what the problem is, someone will try to fix it with WD40. Get used to this smell.

7) Harbor freight, cheap tools

source: Youtube

Places that sell bottom-dollar priced tools often share the same smell. This skunky, rubbery smell is often attributed to the cheap petroleum-based materials used. Any time someone walks in with a bunch of new tools you may just smell it before you see it.

8) Ozone

source: Youtube

High voltage produces many ooohs and aaaahs. It also produces Ozone. If you’ve got a Tesla coil in your makerspace, (who doesn’t?) you know the smell.

9) Spray Paint

source: Youtube

The smell of spray paint will be forever imprinted on your olfactory neurons. No matter how long you let your project dry in the open air, you’re going to bring this smell back into your makerspace with you.

10) 3 in 1 oil and hot metal shavings

source: Youtube

The smell might just be hot metal shavings, it might be the lubricating oil used when machining, either way, it is there. The metal shop has its own aroma, and so will your hands.

11) Pizza

source: Youtube

There isn’t a makerspace on the planet that hasn’t had pizza in it. It’s what Makers crave!

12) Someone’s unfinished meal, rotting away

source: Youtube

Clean up your meals after you eat them. Seriously, that’s gross.

13) Mysterious chemical smell

source: tumblr
source: tumblr

What the heck is that? Is that nail polish? Paint thinner? Shoe goo? Drano? Sometimes you just can’t figure it out.

2 thoughts on “13 Smells You’ll Smell in Every Makerspace

  1. swiers says:

    Are welding shops not a maker thing? Because in our space, the strongest smell is the overwhelming rust smell that comes from welding (actually mostly from grinding).
    My nose is mostly dead from years of shop time, and that one still cuts through. You don’t even know its rust until somebody tells you, but nothing vaporizes iron oxide as fast as flinging small particles of steel into the air and burning them (AKA grinding sparks).

  2. John Daniels says:

    I’m hoping to open a maker space in the next year or two, and I will definitely have a welding area as well as a forge. I look forward to this interesting bouquet of smells! =)

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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. email me at hello (at) calebkraft.com

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