What is a Makerspace?

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Are you familiar with the term “Makerspace”? Have you ever been to one? No idea what I’m talking about? Read on!

Makerspace, Silhouette, Glowforge, Alta

What is a Makerspace?

Makerspaces come in many varieties and forms. At their core, they are a DIY space where people can come to use tools and equipment they might not otherwise have access to. Some Makerspaces are designed specifically for children while others are geared toward older teens and adults. They may be open to the general public or only to a specific group of people – students, patrons, or club members, for example. There may also be costs involved for membership and/or equipment rental.

What will you find in a Makerspace?

The answer to this question is as varied as the space itself. Makerspaces designed for children are often filled with basic supplies such as paint, clay, cardboard, paper tubes, tape, batteries, popsicle sticks, yarn, small tools, etc. Their purpose is to encourage students to tinker and create. Some may include more expensive equipment such as computers, tablets, circuit sets, or 3D printers.  

Makerspace, Silhouette, Glowforge, Alta
Photo Credit: FryskLab via flickr

The equipment in a Makerspace geared toward older teens and adults will usually consist of items such metalworking and woodworking tools, laser cutters, 3D printers, sewing machines, and maybe even a Silhouette machine or two 😉 . These spaces are great for those who need to use the equipment only occasionally, don’t have enough physical space to house the equipment, or their budget doesn’t allow them to purchase the equipment for their own use. Many users also enjoy the community aspect of a Makerspace as opposed to working alone in their own creative space.

Where can you find a Makerspace?

Makerspaces can be found in schools, universities, community centers, libraries, and other public or private locations. The space may exist in the corner of a room or take up an entire building. Retailers such as Joann have recently jumped on the Makerspace bandwagon with the unveiling of  Creators’ Studios in some of their newer stores. (I visited one of these Creators’ Studios in Salt Lake City recently to check out the Glowforge. Fingers crossed that something like this will come to my area in the future!) 

Makerspace, Silhouette, Glowforge, Alta
Photo Credit: Joann Stores

I have yet to find a directory or any one source for locating all the Makerspaces in the country, so your best bet at this time is to do an online search using the terms “makerspace” and your geographic location.

Makerspaces are a great concept for sharing resources, ideas, and inspiration! Do you have a Makerspace in your area? Is the concept something that appeals to you? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below! Then share the image below to Pinterest to help spread the word!

Until next time,

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  1. I did a Google search and found a place called the Big Fab Lab in the mall 10miles down the road. In the description it puts Maker Space ( ) so that people will recognize, open 24 hrs with classes. I have messaged them to see if they have a Glow Forge! How cool would that be!

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