Hackerspacing In Europe: MadSpace In Eindhoven!

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Welcome to Eindhoven! We came to visit a few hackers from MadSpace (translated) but unfortunately they are in the process of moving, and there was not much to see at the space. Lucky for us, our visit corresponded with the Dutch Design Week (translated)! So we still had some cool things to see!

Eindhoven has a very interesting history. Phillips was founded here back in the late 1800’s, with a single factory, but in the past century it grew into what could almost be called Philip’s City. A stretch of a few kilometers of Phillips buildings dominated Eindhoven and almost everyone worked for them. Fast forward to the present and most of the buildings have been sold and turned into other businesses.

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The funny thing is, not much renovating was done! Wandering through the city is exactly like wandering through a factory. It has a really cool vibe to it, although the word hipster comes to mind…

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Most of the buildings have been left in their original condition, so there are catwalks and pipes sprawling across the buildings while local businesses, designers and artists have set up shop within them.

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This was a rather interesting display — they used fermenting fruits to inflate a balloon, then if you open the valve, the flute on the back plays a tune!


We spoke to a local student who has taken up blacksmithing, with a home-built forge!

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Our guide from MadSpace, [Joris], inspects a hand forged axe.

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He also worked on some more serious design projects, like this 230kg industrial styled steel stove. Nice to see something that would last forever!

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This project discovered the easiest way of mass-producing small circuit boards — get the public to make them for you!


Naturally our growing posse of hackers from several different spaces could not resist having a soldering race.


[Anthony] from Open Garage took the lead though! 9 LEDs, 9 resistors and 1 power connector soldered successfully in a few minutes flat.

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The repurposed power supply for testing the boards. Hack a Day was here!

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Continuing on, there was this was pretty cool interactive display. A conveyor belt brought different trays of food around, and if you took the tray and placed it in the slot…

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The monitor would then play a video telling the history of the food!

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It most likely uses RFID tags, but we couldn’t see much from underneath.

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More examples of the history of these buildings — they just left these catwalks up.

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We ran into [Deepak] again from Void Warranties — anything 3D printing in the area and you’ll find him! He’s a mountain of information, and we had some great discussions about the future of 3D printing.


My coworker [Jacob] inspects the new Ultimaker.

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Looks pretty nice!IMG_0938 (Custom)

Sadly we just missed the actual 3D printing presentation and event, so there wasn’t too much to see.

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Another view of the catwalks that connect the buildings, all locked off now.

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An art exhibit showing off a few steps towards the creation of a statue. These are giant foam blocks that were milled by a re-purposed 6-axis industrial welding robot!

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If this takes off it means you could easily have a full statue of yourself in the backyard for pretty cheap! Or maybe we could get a giant Hack a Day logo…


This young lady was showing off the combining of old technology, with new materials.


This fabric was woven using plastic fibers, recycled from plastic bags! It has an interesting texture to it, but is quite strong!

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Remind us why we don’t have lego block buildings?

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We also were told to try the raw herring — a delicacy in the Netherlands. It was actually pretty good despite my facial expression in the third frame…


Before we left we had the opportunity to see [Ben]’s lab at the university. He’s a PhD of microsystems and is currently working on a very interesting project that involves laser etching micro features into glass. We won’t try explaining it any further than that so here’s his website describing the project.


He did however tell us playing with these lasers and setups is kind of like LEGO for adults. They have a large library of parts and everything bolts together! A true dream job for [Ben]!

We probably could have spent days wandering around the Dutch Design week, but unfortunately only had a few hours. There was a lot of cool hacker stuff to be seen, and we suspect there was much more that we missed. Special thank you to [Ben] and [Joris] of MadSpace who toured us around the city. We wish you the best of luck with the move into your new hackerspace location!

Photo credit goes to [Ben] for several of the photos — we suspect you can tell which ones based on who is in the frame…

10 thoughts on “Hackerspacing In Europe: MadSpace In Eindhoven!

  1. Hehe… you can always find something fun of dubious safety on old catwalks…
    But seriously, what would you do with that? I would either build a 50ft tall 3D printer (between two sets of catwalks) or a giant LED display. Maybe both?

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