Skip to comments.The Largest Makerspace On The Planet Opens In Columbus, Ohio
Posted on 06/02/2014 6:34:00 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Announced as far back as January, the efforts of founder Alex Bandar, COO Casey McCarty and Shop/Production Manger Matt Hatcher have finally come to fruition; the Columbus Idea Foundry a 65,000 square ft. makerspace in the heart of Columbus, Ohio is open in its brand new location.
The new space, nestled in a downtown district called Franklinton, celebrated its official open house yesterday and it is going to mean a lot to central Ohio.
What is it though? According to Hatcher and McCarty, it is the largest community makerspace on the planet. Built in a 100-year-old shoe factory, its kind of like a gymnasium for people who want to make things.
You pay a monthly membership fee of $35 and then an hourly fee to use a multitude of different tools to make that thing you need be it a 3D printed prototype, a piece of jewelry, a CNC metal cut, laser cut template, fired pottery or other needful object for your startup, business or art studio. There are different hourly rates ranging from $5-$35 depending on the toolset.
Additionally, you can also pay a fee to have the facility just make your prototype for you.
While typically more suited to product prototyping, McCarty pointed out to me that some people do small production runs in the facility, it just depends on the project.
Just before the open house, I did a short walk-through with Hatcher and he gave me a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility. I could describe all the funding and grant work that brought this building to action but it is already well documented by the ever-competent tech reporting of Ms. Carrie Ghose. In short, however, it has everything youd need to make your own hardware or art project.
The work spaces come complete with every tool you can imagine from a laser cutter, to an IC3D three-dimensional printer (local company), to a complete wood shop, to a complete metal shop and three kilns. There is even a Raspberry Pi/Arduino room and a coding learning space. Bridge The Gap youth incubator also has representation at the space.
There are several studio spaces local artists can rent and use.
But what does it mean to Columbus, Ohio? What a lot of people dont know about Columbus is that there is a fierce entrepreneurial spirit in the capital of the 7th most populous state in the nation.
There are many startups in Columbus, and in nearby Cincinnati too. I can see how a facility like this could lower the barriers for many hardware startups for which the beginning capital investment can be a bit more intense to get their concepts going.
I think relatively low rates like they are offering will boost the activity in the area even more.
The facility is opening now and looking for the next big thing from makers in the area. John Biggs grew up in Columbus and I live there now so its exciting to see this world-first happening in our hometown.
We need more happy, optimistic stuff, I think.
And engineering stuff.
This was a big concept back in the 70’s and auto repair.
A makerspace recently opened up in my small city of <100K. I was planning to visit soon to check it out.
People doing things on their own? Making stuff in an entrepenurial manner without any state help? Self-sufficiency mindset? I can see right through that hateful attack on the Black Man in the White House (TM)!
Well now. Here’s another idea for the Feds to tax and regulate to death, while lawyers find ways to sue the daylights out of anyone who dares try to succeed by hard work and ingenuity. /wetblanket
“Nice little shop you have there. How’s your Federal Diversity Quotient? You don’t have anyone in here making things of religious significance, do you? Ooops. What’s this crucifix doing here? We need to close this place down and investigate. Sorry.”
Interesting. Thanks for posting.
I’m glad someone didn’t sit around worrying about what some federal agent might do and instead tempted them with what could be done by free citizens.
“Do you have any paperwork for that wood you are using? No? Say hello to our SWAT team.”
I keep hoping to see one of these opening nearby. It sounds awesome!
A similar facility is called FabLab here in Tulsa. It’s been in existence about 4-5 years.
“What a lot of people dont know about Columbus is that there is a fierce entrepreneurial spirit in the capital of the 7th most populous state in the nation. “
I live in Columbus and it is dominated by big enterprise, not small entrepreneurs.
Columbus is Nationwide Insurance, Bob Evans Restaurants, The Limited Stores, Ohio State University, State government, Wendy’s, JPM processing (used to be Bank One but is now JP Morgan but the processing is still there), Chemical Abstracts, Worthington Industries, One of four Ohio casinos allowed,
In theory, it’s a really cool idea.
In practice, I wouldn’t want to own one.
My first thought, a lot of your tools are going to walk out the door unless you have an excellent security system.
Next, huge risk that someone will be injured using your tools.
Finally, people will destroy your tools by using them improperly.
But these people should remember: They didn’t build anything.
And if someone invents a cure for liberals one hopes they will share it with the world.