MAKE 40: Makerspaces

This article appeared in Make: Vol. 40.

From TechShops to Fab Labs, makerspaces are popping up around the country and the world, helping makers gain experience, develop support networks, and build bigger and better than ever before. Volunteer-run or professional, membership- or employee-based, non- or for-profit, theyʼre offering tools, education, and space to makers who donʼt have a home shop or who want to go beyond it.

Part recreational shop, part product incubator, part R&D lab, part community center, they cater to — and help define — a growing, decentralized hub of the maker world. These are places where makers are safe, welcome, comfortable, and free to pursue their goals, where innovation and creativity is fostered, learning is encouraged, and community trumps just about everything.

In these pages youʼll see some makerspaces up close, as well as look at what they can do and how theyʼre growing. Youʼll see some of their tools and their builds, and maybe youʼll be inspired to check one out in your area. Welcome to the Geek Club.

Table of Contents


Reader Input

Page 10

Right to Repair

Fight for your right to truly own your things.Page 12

Made on Earth

Explore the amazing world of backyard technology.Page 14


Audacious by Design

Berkeley, California’s Project H looks to the future of K-12 education by equipping kids with tools, skills, and confidence.Page 20

Meticulous Machines

What Other Machine’s Eric Weinhoffer learned about the challenges of manufacturing high-resolution CNC mills.Page 26


Raise a CNC Makerspace Shed

Build a big, customizable, stand-alone workshop for about $1,000.Page 30

FabLabs @ 10

Ten years of making (almost) anything.Page 34

Snap Shot

A peek inside Sector 67 in Madison, WI.Page 44

Makerspace to Market

You may be surprised (or not) at these products developed at makerspaces.Page 48

Bizarro Builds

These oversized, outlandish makerspace projects prove anything is possible with the right mix of brains and brawn. Page 49

Kicking Gas

Building an electric car is the perfect collaboration project for a makerspace.Page 50

Where are the Women?

Hint: It’s not because they aren’t interested in hacking and building.Page 52


Custom Sound

Shape sound waves with timer chips to create your own digital sampling system emulator. Page 60

The Skinny on End Mills

Interested in CNC routing but clueless about tooling? We’ve got you covered.Page 64


R/C Omniwheel Robot

Build an easy holonomic “Kiwi drive” platform that moves instantly in any direction.Page 66

A Modern Mobile

Swivels and a weight give flexibility and stability to this contemporary design. Page 70


Build a full-size FFF 3D-print- able electric violin.Page 74

Zip-Tie Lounge Chair

Forty-four cable ties. A half-sheet of plywood. Streamlined comfort for the nomadic maker. Page 79

Brew a Vintage IPA

Re-create the dry, highly hopped ale that quenched the thirst of the British Empire.Page 86

Remaking History

Developed by a Manhattan Project alum, the air muscle is still important today.Page 88

Fond o’ Bondo

An illustrated guide to the creative side of body filler.Page 90

Vibration Sensors

Detect motion with DIY sensors better than your smartphone’s.Page 92

Godzilla Detector

Fit a classic Cold-War Geiger counter with new digital guts.Page 97

Sure-Fire Projects for Young Makers

Use recycled materials to create fantastic worlds for tiny, easy-to-build BrushBots.Page 98

Toy Inventor's Notebook

Can you build super-cheap electronic dice?Page 100


Tool Reviews

Recommendations for unique and useful maker tools, toys, and materials.Page 102

New Maker Tech

On the horizon for electronic accessories. Page 106


Text tools for your bench or bedside table.Page 109