I spent a very happy three hours at the Hull Makerspace today. I’d been invited to take a look and have a go with the machinery, so I did both.
They’ve got the two most important ingredients just right. Lots of tech and lovely people to help you use it. The tech includes a really nice laser cutter, complete with proper cooling and ventilation systems, which makes it a dream to operate. I took my Hull Pixelbot design files off Github and they were able to feed them straight into the laser cutter and make the robot chassis that you can see above. This of course prompted design work on another version which will be entirely laser cut, rather than needing some 3d printed components. Not that this is really a problem at the Makerspace, they have a couple of 3d printers to play with as well.
It’s that “being next to the machine” immediacy that makes the Makespace such a nice place to work. Knowing that I can turn round a design really quickly means that I’ll be able to experiment a bit. There are also things around the place I’ve never used before, including CNC machine, a lathe, a band saw and a vinyl cutter. Some of them scare me a bit (which is apparently a good mindset to go in with) but I’m really looking forward to finding out how to use them.
Membership will open in the new year. It will cost 10 pounds a month for students and the unemployed and 20 pounds for everyone else. If you want to use some of the more “expensive to feed” devices like the laser cutter there’ll be an extra charge depending on how much you use them, and you will also have to pay for consumables.
For years I’ve been saying “What Hull needs is a really good Makerspace”. Well, we’ve got one now, so it is up to us folks in the region to show just what we can do with it. You can keep track of what they are up to here.