A maker space or makerspace is a place where people can gather to create things, most often using digital design and fabrication technology. Fab labs, hacker spaces, techshops, etc. are kinds of maker spaces.
According to Makespace.com (2/2015), “To describe them simply, makerspaces are community centers with tools. Makerspaces combine manufacturing equipment, community, and education for the purposes of enabling community members to design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn’t be possible to create with the resources available to individuals working alone. These spaces can take the form of loosely-organized individuals sharing space and tools, for-profit companies, non-profit corporations, organizations affiliated with or hosted within schools, universities or libraries, and more. All are united in the purpose of providing access to equipment, community, and education, and all are unique in exactly how they are arranged to fit the purposes of the community they serve. Makerspaces represent the democratization of design, engineering, fabrication and education. They are a fairly new phenomenon, but are beginning to produce projects with significant national impacts.”
“A makerspace is a collaborative work space inside a school, library or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools. These spaces are open to kids, adults, and entrepreneurs and have a variety of maker equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, cnc machines, soldering irons and even sewing machines.” (Makerspaces.com, retrieved June 2018)
Unlike [(self) certified fablabs] that include equipment for at least $50K and follow a similar chart, maker spaces refer to any kind of environment that includes some CNC machines and that allow specific groups or the public a large to create artefacts. Small-scale maker spaces can include the following technology:
- 3D printers of various kinds
- laser cutters (rather expensive)
- cutting plotters (very cheap)
- heat press
- CNC hobby mills
- Equipment for dealing with electronics, e.g. Arduino boards or single board computers
Additional machinery can include 3D scanner, CNC mills, embroidery machine, sewing machine, etc.
- Makerspace directory (associated more or less with make magazine)
- The 4 Flavors of Makerspaces by Ellyssa Kroski — October 15, 2014.