Makerspaces (also known as ‘hackerspaces’) are a relatively recent phenomenon that’s fast gaining popularity around the world. They’re physical spaces that allow the public to utilize the various tools and machines used to create physical objects, like 3D printers, laser cutters and wood-making tools. We take a look at some of the makerspaces — and other venues providing the tools for creation — that give practical men and women the opportunity to shape the world around them with objects of their own devising.
Operating from a warehouse in Marickville, MakerSpace &Company allows the public to make and learn about the creation of furniture, ceramics, metalwork, woodwork, and more. Founder and CEO Anna Lise De Lorenzo makes a point of welcoming those who may be new the particular craft they’re interested in, with a focus on education for the “creatively curious.” Their classes cover ceramics, working with power tools, welding, 3D modelling, fabric screen-printing, leather working and floristry, amongst other practical and artistic pursuits. Marrickville.
Social enterprise Maker’s Place Inc. was created Three Farm: a collective of social designers founded by Grace Turtle and Melissa Fuller. It’s a workshop designed to educate and engage locals that’s run by volunteers. Maker’s Place provides access to a huge variety of tools and equipment, including power tools, hand tools and 3D printers, with plans to purchase more equipment pertaining to digital fabrication (like laser cutters) in the near future. Members pay a fee to help cover the space’s general operating costs, and the organisation also offers internships for locals looking to get into the business. Waterloo.
Robots and Dinosaurs (or Robodino, for short) is a communal space where local men and women can come together to create things in the realms of robotics, arduino, electronics, glass blowing, science, 3D printing, sewing, woodwork, laser cutting and more. Located in Meadowbank, about 30 minutes from Central Station, the equipment on offer includes benches, soldering irons, projectors, drill presses, sewing machines — you name it, they probably have it. They’ve even got a collection of fabrics and patterns in stock for the sartorially minded. Drop by to take it all in and meet like-minded creators. Meadowbank.
The Michael Crouch Innovation Centre is a space where students and alumni of the University of New South Wales, as well as members of the public, can come together to create innovative objects with real-world problem-solving potential. They host regular seminars across a range of creative topics, like electronics, 3D scanning, and soldering. It’s also the home of Create UNSW — a students-only club for people who like to make things. Sydney.
The Western Sydney University’s MakerSpace is open to the public, located at their Penrith campus, and run by their School of Computing, Engineering & Mathematics. They have a 3D printing hub (with technical assistance available), a ‘Fab Lab’ (with woodworking and metal workshops, laser cutting, CNC routers and other fabrication technology), and a robotics lab. There are also one-off workshops on robotics and software classes, for those more technologically inclined. Penrith.
For those with a peculiar passion who’d like to express their interests in zine form, The Rizzeria is a dedicated publishing space in Leichhardt. They own a ME9450 Risograph stencil press that’s open for public use, and they offer regular classes on all manner of things related to the art of printing and publishing. It’s a non-profit organization run by members of the local artistic community — designers, zine-makers, and print-makers amongst them. They also sell the works of their collaborators and customers in a dedicated retail space. Follow them on Instagram to see what they’re up to. Leichhardt.