Starting a Makerspace from Scratch

Way back in June @bailey posted this:

There is no makerspace in my area. Since we are fairly rural, lots of folks have what they need for work on the farm. But there are many retired people around who I am sure would still like to tinker and build. I do know a few people who have built pole barn shops since they live in condos and couldn’t part with their tools. I am curious as to how many forum members are considering using the Glowforge as a major push to starting a makerspace. I believe it would be a great community building enterprise.

I’ve read through Make’s series of articles on starting up makerspaces. I understand it’s not just a matter of putting a few tools together in a room.


We have a small one that just opened up in the mill where our studio is. We’ll be trading Arduino advice for time on the Glowforge! Community workspaces are such a great concept…

I have been slowly working on figuring out how to start a makerspace in my town.

The thing to keep in mind, is that a Makerspace is not a place for people who do not have their own tools. Sure, it is AMAZING for them. But they won’t be your only clientele.

For people who do have tools, you have a few they do not. Or you have people in the space who can teach them new tricks. Or if they already know everything and own everything, you have socialization and the chance to teach.

My grand vision is a combination indoor kid’s play area, makerspace, & restaurant. With a gaming cafe in any remaining space (so roughly the size of a typical mall at that point… but I can dream)


Artisan’s Asylum in Cambridge had a conference awhile back on how to make a makerspace. They still have some good resources listed. Here’s a link.

I didn’t end up getting tickets, they were sold out too quick. I’ve been waiting for them to do another one, but no luck yet.

One of the small things that makerspaces and labs do to keep me coming back is maintaining a level of engagement with the local arts community. I love seeing a packed bulletin board listing shows, residency opportunities, hackathons, classes, etc…

I generally have access to the tools I want, save a few larger / more expensive items, but access to opportunities is hard to come by. I’ve discovered lifelong hobbies thanks to a couple well-placed fliers! :smile: