What is a Makerspace?
A makerspace is a physical space, often in industrial or commercial areas, that a group of like minded individuals can come together to learn new skills, pool resources to have access to tools that would otherwise be out of reach, and make practical or artistic projects or any type.
What types of things do makers make? Here are a few different crafts and interests you will often find at makerspaces:
- Electronics Hacking
- From the phone in our pocket to the devices in our walls, we are surrounded by electronics. Learn to understand and tinker with the electronic world arounds you.
- Low powered and embedded computer systems like Arduino & Raspberry pi,
- Want motion tracking on your drone? Or a touch screen interface for your household lights? What about controlling a retrofitted DirectTV dish to capture video and images being sent from the International Space Station as it passes overhead? All of this can be done, quite quickly with an embedded computer that costs less than $35!
- Wood, Metal, and Plastic working tools
- Need a case for your new homemade HF radio? Or a 3D printed custom jig for your own table saw projects at home? Makerspaces are where you can not only find the equipment, but the local expert on how to get the best results, letting you leap frog over the ‘novice mistakes’ phase of learning any new skill.
- 3D Printing and Computer Controlled Milling
- This is the current hottest technology, meaning it has a steep learning curve and expensive equipment & software requirements.
If you’d like to know more about what sort of projects could be done with the help of a Humboldt Makerspace, check out the Makerspace Projects page
Why Here in Humboldt?
There is lots of interest for a Makerspace in Humboldt County. Redwood Coast Rural Action has completed a study in 2015/16, as well as conducted some well attended meetings, showing great interest in skill sharing and tool sharing.
There also exists a growing Humboldt Makers Facebook Group were local makers can interact with each other and share their local projects.
Also, there is a great need in Humboldt for something to do. A makerspace can be a place to skillshare, to meet new people who have similar interests, a community center, a club house, and a place to make a lasting positive influence in the community.
So if you are a landowner of an unused or under utilized industrial building and a bunch of community minded tech geeks improving your structure, please reach out to us.
Resource & Knowledge Pools
Together, we can do much more than we can by ourselves. You might be an amazing woodworker, but have trouble sewing. You might have a tig welder, but are unable to program a simple microcontroller. When two people share their passions, every project gets that much easier to accomplish. Accomplishments can lead to a greater self-esteem, and that can lead you anywhere you want to go.
Imagine what we could do together, as a community. Imagine if you didn’t have to personally know the expert on a topic you don’t fully understand, and instead had a physical space to go and both ask for help and learn a new skill. That is why we need a Humboldt Makerspace.
Humboldt Makers Community Engagement
Plato said that “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.” Teaching is at the heart of knowledge, and desire for a easier life is the basis of most technology. Members will be able to teach others how to use equipment, program their Arduinos, or even help get their FCC amateur radio license, all while expanding the community of Makers in Humboldt County.
Getting certified on the machines we have at the Makerspace will allow you to use them anytime they aren’t scheduled or in use! And learning a new tool often will open up ideas within yourself as to how to change the world around you for the better.
If you are looking for more ideas of what a makerspace can do for the community, check out the list of example Maker projects. We also have a list of local maker resources if you are trying to find something right now. If you want to find out more, please feel free to contact us.