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Introduction to Makerspaces. Garages for innovation Stephen Carter Rutgers University A Rich History.

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introduction to makerspaces

Introduction toMakerspaces

Garages for innovation

Stephen Carter

Rutgers University

a rich history
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
Many Names, One Mission



Makerhoods (California)


Creative Spaces

Fab Labs (New York)

wikipedia definition what is a makerspace
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 makerspace
Hackerspace vs Makerspace?

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 jetpack.

A Makerspace has emphasis on STEM, CAD, crafts, innovation, creativity and education. Making things.

simple but complex
Simple … but complex

Makerspaces can take many forms

Technology, machinery, crafts,

…. but its not justabout the equipment.

to provide the tools of creativity
To Provide the tools of Creativity

Makerspace goals are simple:

create, motivate, innovate.

what goes on in makerspaces
What goes on in Makerspaces?

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
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 makerspace
Makeup of a Makerspace?

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
But Also…

Makerspaces emerging in new focus areas

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Renewable Energy and Sustainability
  • Life Science and Bio
  • Arts and Fashion
  • Commercial Kitchens
rapid prototyping
Rapid Prototyping

Allowing small business and entrepreneurs to compete with Fortune 500 companies. Some examples:

and entrepreneurship
And Entrepreneurship…

Makerspaces and Entrepreneurship, perfect together

  • STEM students interested in entrepreneurship.
  • Prototyping
  • Peer to Peer Networking
  • Gateway to start-ups
diy revolution
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
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.

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

Publicly Supported


corporate partnerships
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 partnerships1
Corporate Partnerships

Lowes/TechShop Austin facility is 17,000 square feet:

commercial investment
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, photography
  • Also entrepreneurship offices for rent
a guy with a full garage
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
Great for Libraries!

Milwaukee Public Library

Detroit Public Library

Cleveland Public Library

West Port, CT Library

opportunities for libraries
Opportunitiesfor Libraries
  • 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 community.
  • 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 includecode repositories, APIs, software and other resources to facilitate learning.
  • Community Innovation- Librarymakerspaces 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.
nj s makerspaces are gaining momentum
NJ’s Makerspaces aregaining 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
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)
  • Equipment

Private Foundations, State/Federal, In-Kind Donations

just do it

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. Publicly Supported

The importance of play


Let us know your ideas!

Drop me a note!