What’s a Makerspace?

A Makerspace is typically a collaborative lab and/or shop with tools that range from the simple to the high tech. In addition to tools Makerspaces often offer coworking space and classes for adults and often children. Makerspaces are for artists, hobbyists, students, entrepreneurs, scientists, DIYers, etc.

In addition to Makerspaces there are also Hackerspaces, Techshops and Fablabs who offer some of the same features but can vary from a Makerspace. For more information on the differences Make Magazine has an article that explains.

A lot of Makerspaces are run by non-profit organizations with an emphasis on giving back to the community. You can find Makerspaces located in schools, libraries, community centers or standalone organizations.

Why does this matter to you?

The cost of being a member of a local Makerspace is way cheaper than buying and maintaining equipment that your local Makerspace already has available. The collaborative environment reduces time researching and developing your end goal. A presence in a Makerspace increases your visibility in the community allowing you to build a rapport without it being forced while at the same time accomplishing goals you would already be working towards. Education that can often be costly, distant and not geared to equipment or products you or your company use while education offered by a local Makerspace is going to be based on the equipment and software they maintain that you’ll be using.

We are fortunate enough to have the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub in our home town of North Little Rock, Arkansas. They hold events throughout the year to include an Annual Maker Faire, classes for Adults and Children, Robotics competitions and much more.

What you might find in a Makerspace?

  • 3D Printer(s)
  • A Laser Cutter
  • Welding and other Metal Working Tools
  • A Lathe
  • A CNC Machine
  • Soldering Irons
  • Large Format Printers
  • Classrooms
  • Shared Collaborative Office Space
  • Meeting Rooms

What do they typically offer?

  • Prototyping Services
  • Meeting Space
  • Startup Accelerator & Incubator Services
  • Educational Opportunities

What’s in your area?





Do you have a local Makerspace? Leave a comment below and share.