Friday Hack Chat: Making A Makerspace

How do you make a makerspace? Over the last decade, there have been plenty of talks and tutorials handing out pointers. No day of the week will be good for a meeting, so the meetings are always on Tuesdays. The bike shed will be painted orange, no exceptions. Are you going to be a for-profit, or not-for-profit? Are we a makerspace or a hackerspace? Jerry, stop being clever. Pantone 021 U.

For this week’s Hack chat, we’re going to be talking all about making a makerspace. These are community hubs where people come together and share resources to bring their inventions to life. It’s not as simple as it may seem. You need insurance, you need a building, you need a landlord who’s cool, and there are a thousand and one things that can go wrong. Who best to steer you through the storm of opening a Hackerspace? Who can you solicit advice from?

Our guests for this week’s Hack Chat are Vaibhav Chhabra, a mech E from Boston University. He spent two years working on an eye diagnostic device, is an instructor at MIT REDX health care innovation lab, and is a founder of the incredible Makers Asylum. Eric Michaud is a Hacker, runner, and author, currently working on Rift Recon, Shellcon, and He has written tutorials on Adafruit, and was a founding member of HacDC before he took off to Chicago and started PS:One.

Topics for this week’s Hack Chat include what it takes to open a makerspace, how you can fund it, organizational structure concerning for-profit, not-for-profit, and the thing that the members are most concerned about: what equipment is most crucial for a successful makerspace. You are, of course, encouraged to add your own questions to the Hack Chat; to do that, just leave a comment on the Hack Chat event page.


Our Hack Chats are live community events on the Hack Chat group messaging. This Hack Chat is going down Friday, February 16th at 09:30am Pacific time. This is different than our usual time slot. Want to know what time this is happening in your neck of the woods? Here, look at the neat time zone converter thingy

Click that speech bubble to the right, and you’ll be taken directly to the Hack Chat group on

You don’t have to wait until Friday; join whenever you want and you can see what the community is talking about.

7 thoughts on “Friday Hack Chat: Making A Makerspace

  1. Few years ago, I tried to promote in Argentina the creation of makerspaces in technical high schools.

    In Argentina, technical schools provide high school education and provide technical certification. Therefore, the student who graduates, he/she does with a high school diploma and a certification as technician, i.e. Technician in Electronics, Technician in Electricity, etc.

    These technical schools have workshops with all the equipment, even do they are underfunded. They are fantastic places for makerspaces.

    I proposed the idea,. I advocated for the idea; however, the only response I got was the many reasons why it couldn’t be done… aka. excuses.

    Whoever read this. If you are at the management level to make decision, please give a try prior to say why it shouldn’t be done in the first place. There is a lot of potential to help the school, the community and the local economy.

    1. The biggest one is rah rah rah safety. Sure a soldering iron can be dangerous, but so is walking to work/school.

      This is what training and risk mitigation is for, which is the whole point of the makerspace, to provide training to stop you from doing stupid shit in the future.

      1. I had thought electronics related tool kits donated to local libraries would a way to try to create interest in hobbyist electronics. The librarian did bring up soldering irons. later on I had a wait a moment, moment. That library has a selection of baking and other cooking pans patrons can borrow. Granted a soldering iron is much hotter, the cooking pans can cause serious burns as well. Because at the moment I can’t interest the members of a local amateur radio club to take on such a project, while not forgotten it’s on the back burner.

  2. This is something I always hoped to make a topic in my community.Both in the real world and the online world I run into a lot of negativity. So much why it can’t or won’t work, not very much it can or it could work. I’m more that willing to move forward with the premise it could work, but I can’t find many others willing move into action Many old timers don’t want to to think about transitioning from their private workshop at their beck and call to shared work environment. God forbid that they would have to put up with “kids”, even though the kids are well into middle age.

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