Want to Kickstart Your Makerspace?

Maker News
Want to Kickstart Your Makerspace?
The crew from Milwaukee Makerspace, one of the organisations behind Maker Faire Milwaukee.
The crew from Milwaukee Makerspace, one of the organisations behind Maker Faire Milwaukee.

Amongst the announcements made today by President Obama at the White House Maker Faire is the creation of a new funding category for Makerspaces by the crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

As part of the Maker initiative, President Obama challenged us to come up with new ways to support makers. We thought, besides the community and funding that they can find on Kickstarter, what else do makers need? Makers need places to make things!

As part of the company’s broader Civic initiative, the launch of a new category for Makerspaces—places where people can come together to make new things—is a rallying cry from the crowdfunding site for builders, hackers and developers.

Using the plasma cutter at the Artisan's Asylum makerspace in Somerville, Massachusetts
Using the plasma cutter at the Artisan’s Asylum makerspace in Somerville, Massachusetts

Since the inception of the site more than 62,000 projects have been funded, including the creation of makerspaces like the LA Maker Space and MakerKidz in Annapolis.

“Making, I discovered early on, was about the art of finding other people – seeking out teachers, creating and joining like-minded groups, collaborating with strangers – and co-creating together.” David Lang, author of Zero to Maker

But beyond that some of the most successful of the crowdfunded projects have come directly out of makerspaces, like the 3Doodler which originated with the crowd at Artisan’s Asylum. The pen—which allows you to draw freestanding three-dimensional structures—raised $2.3 million from 26,457 backers, and made money faster than I could type. It’s now available in the MoMA Design Store.

So if you’re looking to build a makerspace for your local community there’s now a good place to do it, and to build a community around your space, before you even have the space itself.

white-house2President Obama is hosting the first-ever White House Maker Faire to recognize the contributions of makers who bring creativity and technical ability to a broad range of projects. If you are a maker or a friend of makers, please become an advocate for expanding opportunities for making and makers in your community.

To show your support for growing the maker community, we encourage you to sign the “Building Maker Communities” pledge and put yourself on the map!

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Alasdair Allan is a scientist, author, hacker and tinkerer, who is spending a lot of his time thinking about the Internet of Things. In the past he has mesh networked the Moscone Center, caused a U.S. Senate hearing, and contributed to the detection of what was—at the time—the most distant object yet discovered.

View more articles by Alasdair Allan


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