Makerspace - New Jersey Library Association / FrontPage

Introduction to
Garages for innovation
Stephen Carter
Rutgers University
[email protected]
A Rich History
Some of today’s hottest companies were started in a garage or
dorm room. Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook.
Today these companies aren’t too worried about competing
with each other. What keep’s them up at night is the thought of
what some geek is doing in some garage.
We want to build a nation of garages….
Many Names,
One Mission
Makerhoods (California)
Creative Spaces
Fab Labs (New York)
Wikipedia Definition:
What is a Makerspace?
Every slideset must include a quote from Wikipedia…
A makerspace (also referred to as a hacklab, hackerspace or creative
space) is a location where people with common interests, often in
computers, technology, science, digital art or electronic art, can meet,
socialize and/or collaborate. Makerspaces can be viewed as open
community labs incorporating elements of machine shops, workshops
carftshops, and/or studios where makers come together to share
resources and knowledge to build and make things.
Hackerspace vs
A Hackerspace historically was a
location where people can repurpose
items: i.e. take two toasters and a
vacuum cleaner and turn it into a flying
A Makerspace has emphasis on STEM,
CAD, crafts, innovation, creativity and
education. Making things.
Simple … but complex
Makerspaces can take many forms
Technology, machinery, crafts,
…. but its not just about the
To Provide the tools
of Creativity
goals are simple:
create, motivate,
What goes on in
Not just Pop-tarts and Cheetos
Times when facility is open to its members/public for fabrication,
experimentation, or fixing one's toaster.
Informal seminars (i.e weekly) on some mutual topic of interest.
Includes 30-60 minute, followed by experimentation.
Organized competition in various topics. Many including
commercial sponsorship and prizes.
Using makerspaces as the vehicle for advanced educational
strategies, i.e. learn by doing.
MIT Power Wheels Racing at New York’s
Maker Faire every September.
New Jersey help paved
the way…
R.E.S.I.S.T.O.R.S formed in 1966
The RESISTORS - Radically Emphatic
Students Interested in Science, Technology
and Other Research Subjects was one of the
first computer clubs in the United States,
meeting in the sixties and seventies in a
Hopewell Barn in central New Jersey. The
group of computer geeks (mostly teen
students at Hopewell Valley Central High
School) formed in 1966 to play with
electronics, write primitive code, talk about
the future of computing, and protest bad
science education. Publicly Supported
High Schoolers in a Hopewell Barn
Makeup of a
Most Makerspaces have common equipment base…
Most makerspaces today are
electronic / IT centric.
Equipment supported includes
3d printers, laser cutters,
micro-controllers (Arduino),
electronics and robotics.
But Also…
Makerspaces emerging in new focus areas
• Advanced Manufacturing
• Renewable Energy and
• Life Science and Bio
• Arts and Fashion
• Commercial Kitchens
Rapid Prototyping
Allowing small business and entrepreneurs to compete with
Fortune 500 companies. Some examples:
And Entrepreneurship…
Makerspaces and Entrepreneurship, perfect together
• STEM students interested in
• Prototyping
• Peer to Peer Networking
• Gateway to start-ups
DIY Revolution
Perhaps the next bubble?
A new era of entrepreneurship and
innovation that promises to reinvent
business models and manufacturing.
A world where anyone can make
almost anything where an individual
can be a one-man corporation with
global distribution.
Types of Makerspaces
Membership Supported (Private)
Typically a group of like-minded individuals
forming a 501c3 supported by membership
dues ($25-$100 per month). Pays rental of
space (garage/warehouse), insurance, and
basic equipment. Loosely organized.
Publicly Supported
A makerspace at a university, k-12, library,
museum, etc. Supported by grants,
foundations, donations, public funds.
Also membership based, but designed for
profit. Usually large with broad base of
equipment, classes and membership plans.
Publicly Supported
Corporate Partnerships
Many examples happening now:
Located in California, Texas, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, the
TechShop chain is a membership-based project workshop that
provides member access to tools, equipment, instruction and a
community of creative and supportive people who can help you
build the things you've always wanted to make.
Corporate Partnerships
Lowes/TechShop Austin facility is 17,000 square feet:
Commercial Investment
NextFab’s Philadelphia facility is 21,000 square feet:
•Over $4m in equipment
•3D Printers, laser, textiles, electronics
•CAD, CNC & traditional machinery
•Flow Jet, bio wetlab, paint booth,
•Also entrepreneurship offices for rent
a guy with a full garage
Surplus machinery moves to a historic theatre
Industrial equipment maintenance and
repair guy starts workshop for artists,
craftsman, and innovators in an old
Collingswood theatre helping to bring
craftsmanship back to the US.
Great for Libraries!
Milwaukee Public Library
Detroit Public Library
Cleveland Public Library
West Port, CT Library
Opportunities for
Sponsorship - Recruit sponsors for events, allowing tech and other companies to
invest in single or ongoing programmatic efforts in areas of most interest to the
Revenue Opportunities - Create new ways to fund operations based upon the
corporate sponsors that reflect the type of space created.
Mentorship – Promote mentoring, allowing mentors to share expertise and
knowledge with others in their community.
Resources – In addition to traditional access to computers and internet, may also
include code repositories, APIs, software and other resources to facilitate learning.
Community Innovation - Library makerspaces can be centers for community
innovation to occur, bringing in outside ideas, and circulating new ideas within
existing community leaders.
Incubation - Library makerspaces can be centers of business incubation, providing
a an environment for ideas to take root and the resources they need to actually
become businesses, creating desperately needed jobs in communities.
and for the next generation!
MIT Mobile Fab Lab
NJ’s Makerspaces are
gaining momentum!
Public Supported:
Rutgers University (2)
Newark Museum
Piscataway Library
Monroe Twp Library
Bridgeton Digifactor
Membership Supported:
Fubar Labs
Trenton Atelier
Institute for Exploratory Research
Hoboken Makerbar
Hive 4A (Allentown, PA)
NextFab (Philadelphia)
The Factory
SoHa Smart
Goals of New Jersey
Makerspace Association
Based at Rutgers University, the New Jersey Makerspace Association will:
Encourage collaboration and partnerships among New Jersey's
makerspaces - both member based and publicly supported;
Provide technical guidance and consultation for K-12 and other public
entities (i.e. libraries) wishing to create new spaces;
Seek grant opportunities for equipment and events (i.e. MakerFaires);
Promote makerspaces to our elected representatives;
Create curriculum for educational related activities.
Current Funding Initiatives
•Base Operations (staff to assist new projects)
•Curriculum Development (distributed to NJ’s Makerspaces)
Private Foundations, State/Federal, In-Kind Donations
We encourage everyone to start making in
your communities and schools. Create
something of your own imagination. The
thought of starting a makerspace can be
daunting. Finding space, funding and
selecting equipment, engaging the public,
recruiting mentors and staff, liability, etc.
is here to help.
The importance of play
Let us know your ideas!
Drop me a note!
[email protected]

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