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Community Workshops, Creator Spaces, Hacker Spaces, Inventor Spaces, and Idea Factories

Updated on November 16, 2016

Loveland Creator Space, Loveland Colorado

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Make Your Dreams Come True

Community workshops are not a completely new thing, but they have changed over the years and have become a growing opportunity with tons of resources now available for inventors, woodworkers, hackers, computer techs, designers, 3D printers, Laser Artist, and more. Tools found in these workshops can include metal working equipment, woodworking equipment, and so much more. People from all walks of life, and from all situations are becoming members in these kinds of places. Some are spending 16 hours a day in them, seven days a week!

Anatomy of a community workshop.

There are literally thousands of couminty workshops dotted throughout the United States and other countries. Each has their own personality and most are self governed. A shining example of a maker/hacker space is one that I am very familiar, is Loveland Creator Space in Loveland Colorado. Along the "Front Range" of where the Colorado Mountains begin, there are at least ten more. Most of these places are interconnected with many of the members utilizing more than one. A network of ideas pass through them and, at times, even various pieces of equipment and knowledge bases are shared.

Loveland Creator Space's tools and equipment list looks like this:

Every Imaginable Tool

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  • Sewing machines
  • Thread, needles, etc.
  • Computer controlled embroiderer
  • Soldering stations
  • Oscilloscope
  • Function Generator
  • LCD monitors
  • Inventor kits
  • Lumber/Metal building materials
  • Computers (approx40)
  • CAD software
  • 100's of hand tools
  • Recording equipment
  • Lab equipment
  • Tig Welder
  • Mig Welder
  • Powder Coating System
  • Electroplating System
  • Ovens
  • Microscopes
  • MORE

  • All safety equipment
  • Overhead projector
  • White Boards
  • Shop Vacuums
  • Knee Mills
  • Manual Mills
  • Lathes
  • Band saws
  • Grinders
  • Buffing wheels
  • Tap & dies
  • Sand blaster
  • Belt sanders
  • Chop saws
  • Horizontal band saws
  • CNC mill
  • Laser cutter
  • CNC large scale router
  • CNC lathe
  • Water jet
  • 3D printers
  • 3D scanner
  • Vacuum former
  • Plasma cutter
  • Spot welders
  • Table saw
  • Bench sanders
  • Jointer
  • Planer
  • Wood Lathe
  • Hand Wood Tools
  • Drill presses

All Ages are Welcome

There is lots of mentor-ship going on inside these spaces. Its not unusual to find a class being taught on inventing and hacking for kids. Family involvement is a core value and is perfect for father/mother/grandparent kid projects. If training is needed on any tool or equipment, classes and one-on one instruction is available. To see a more in-depth view of Loveland Creator Space, click here: https://lovelandcreatorspace.com/


Links to other community workshops

Here is a sampling of other community workshops and creator spaces to check out. Most have websites with clear membership fees and operating hours. Loveland Creator Space, for example, has a $50 individual fee and $75 fee for the entire family. If you are doing a search in your own community, check with local artist, or type theses keywords in your search engine: (your town), creator, inventor, maker, workshop. If you have trouble finding one, let me know your town in the comment section and I will help. I'm hoping to eventually put together a directory to make it easier.

https://www.i3detroit.org/

http://maker-works.com/

http://www.thevillageworkshop.com/

Training & Education is a Core Value

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Education & Mentorship

Many times, whether it be for an idea or invention you want to persue but don't know how to use certain tools, or you want to learn a computer program, maker spaces are designed in a big way for that. You will find libraries of how to books, veterans of all sorts who are eager to share their knowledge, and even "speakers" to talk about how to bring your idea to market.

Start a business

For some folks, the "dream" is to start a business, market an invention, or develop a product line. Creator spaces are a great place to start. Along with the wealth of business knowledge of various businessmen, the advantage of starting a business here, is that your initial capital tool and computer investments can be reduced by taking advantage of the maker space and economical memberships.

TED TALKS Jamie Leben

Jamie Leben - A pioneer and advocate

Jamie is certainly not new to maker spaces. Watch his powerful TED talk on the subject of maker spaces now, and in the future. Jamie is an original founder of Loveland Creator Space and has travel extensively to other spaces, gleaning from what others have developed and teaching and sharing the things he has learned.

Heros

If Albert Einstein, Tesla, and other great men were to see what's up and these spaces, they would probably join. You never know who the next genius will be. They certainly would be very pleased.

Stop in (or start) at your local Creator Space

Make your dreams come true...Create your inventions...Build a robot...Design furniture...Hack to your hearts delight...All of that and more!

Get involved or support your local maker space. Inventing is a strong part of building the economy in a real way.

Also, creator spaces are run mainly on donations of all sorts--both financial and through tool and equipment donations. Feel free to call your local workshop and see how you can help.

What would you build?

If you walked in to a maker space, what would you build?

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