Happy New Year & 2017 State of the Makerspace

I hope you’ve all enjoyed your holidays and stayed warm. As 2017 comes to an end, I wanted to take the time to reflect on where 2017 has taken MakerLab NW and where we hope to go in 2018. When 2017 started, we didn’t have our own space. We were meeting once or twice a month in a basement. Here we are a year later, we have our space, tools, and a growing community!

When we took the plunge on renting this space, we didn’t have enough money to pay the rent, but we took a leap of faith that if we built it, people would come. And you did. We started small…a small space and not a lot of tools. Through generous donations from the community, and hard work from volunteers, we’ve built a viable makerspace!

Since opening our doors in June, we’ve acquired:

  • Another 3D printer
  • A Bernina Sewing Heavy Duty Sewing machine
  • A Scan and Cut Cutter
  • A Co2 Laser cutter
  • A blue ray engraving laser
  • A band saw
  • A heat press
  • An Oscilloscope
  • A large screen tv for classes
  • Many hand tools
  • 501(c)(3) status!

We had workshops on soldering, sewing, glass etching, laser cutting and engraving, jewelry-making, and more. We put together Mystery Maker Kits from China and most of them didn’t catch on fire! We’ve made drink dispensers from cardboard, light up bunny ears with acrylic, and RC airplanes from foam core. We’ve coded with Arduino, lit up bracelets with neopixels, and 3D printed masks for Halloween. Oh, and we’ve carved pumpkins, played minecraft, played board games, and eaten a LOT of pizza and tacos.

weaving workshoppumpkin carvingengraving laser

So, what’s NEXT? Where do you see MakerLab NW going in 2018? What do you personally want to learn this year?

Personally, I want to dive into Arduino and get better at coding. I want to build an Infinity mirror and a neopixel project that reacts to music and sound. I also want to do more weaving and leatherwork, and learn Fusion360.

I’d like to see MakerLab NW more involved with the community. I’d like to provide more opportunities for group projects at the space. I’d like to see us able to expand to the empty space down the hall, and acquire some woodworking tools. I’d like to see more kids camps happen. I’d like to hear more from members for what they want. Please feel free to drop by the space anytime, even if it’s just to say hi! I’d love to hear any and all suggestions for how to make your space better! THANK YOU to everyone who has become a part of this crazy idea!

Here’s to a new year filled with learning, making and growing!
Happy New Year!
Emily Kelton, President
MakerLab NW

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