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Groups of Makers

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:11 pm
by jet
Some of us have talked about this in person or on chat, I thought I'd mirror it here.

Within the community of makers-in-general, what classes (groups?) of makers do we have? I think that defining this helps us understand the needs of the greater Pittsburgh community.

Some sweeping/inclusive definitions that can overlap:

Artist - earn a living making/selling art, doesn't have the budget/space for a laser cutter, vinyl printer, powder coating booth
Hobbiest - Like making models, cosplay, props, toys, etc with whatever tools they can learn
Professional - earn a living making things for others as a fabricator or contractor, will pay $3/min to use the waterjet
Student - still learning how to make things, maker space is more like a votech or classroom

Re: Groups of Makers

Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:31 am
by supuflounder
I would fall into the class "hobbyist". For me, the advantage of TechShop is I can come in on Tuesday and laser-cut, on Wednesday, I can use the waterjet cutter, on Thursday, I can sandblast and powder-coat it, on Saturday I can use the ShopBot to cut out a mounting for it, and use the paint booth to spray that mounting. I need at least powder-coating, spray booth, woodshop with sanding belt, drill press, band saw, thickness planer, miter saw, table router, and ShopBot Alpha; laser cutter; metal shop with drill press, shear, grinders, and cutoff saw; and occasionally, I do fabric work, I want to try welding and CNC machining. A waterjet cutter, giant powdercoat oven, table saw, bending brake, metal punch, and small shears, are luxuries I would love to have. But separate, small, "focused" shops would justify my buying my own equipment.

Re: Groups of Makers

Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:49 pm
by oliviakissel
As so many of you know: an artist & entrepreneur has to wear many hats.... I fit into every single one of these categories :)

However, if I had to pick, I can narrow it down to these three:

Professional and
Educator (not listed)

I make use of the Hard Arts areas/ Soft Arts and classrooms for the most part.
* I would absolutely love to have an education component in a new shop, with the goal of making the equipment and community more accessible to folks that haven't had a lot of experience in art and science of design & fabrication- seeding the growth and expansion of the maker community.

ALL the Makers - the benefit of Community at the core

Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:29 pm
by MacMarty
I see a lot of usefulness in accommodating as many of these skill/use levels as we can, with the possible exception of Hardcore Professionals. One of the =HUGE= value-add facets of TechShop is the multi-layered community, the opportunity for people to see what others are doing, asking "what are you making", which unlocks the opportunity to share knowledge.

Here's a semi-related article I just saw on Hack-a-Day. Talks about another group's wood shop specifically, but applies to the larger picture in general, and us in particular. The more we can do to feed that core, that -community-, the better chance for a positive outcome. Just my 2 centavos. ... e-follows/

Re: Groups of Makers

Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:04 am
by jet
FWIW, I think of Boxyz as "hardcore professionals". If I ran a maker space today and that sort of client came in I'd negotiate an investment in their company with time and space at my shop.

Staunton Makerspace has an interesting for-profit model. Low rates for hackers/hobby folk and higher rates for "this is how I make a living" people and businesses:

When I lived in the bay area I used The Crucible for my classes and large projects. They didn't have a 3 hour SBU for GTAW, they had a 16-week, 4 hours per week, class on GTAW welding taught by a master-level welder. (He once had a qualification for welding helicopter flight engines and had welded on Tour de France in the days of steel.) That class was like a votec class for me, I didn't just learn the basics of not killing myself with a tig but how to weld some really complex joints and why mechanical engineers Should Be Listened To.