The thought of planning a makerspace can be overwhelming. Where to start? What do you need? Where will you put everything? There are so many more questions. First, let’s get clear with the concept of a makerspace.
A makerspace is a collaborative workspace inside a school, library or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools. These spaces are open to kids, adults, and entrepreneurs and have a variety of maker equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, soldering irons and even sewing machines. A makerspace, however, doesn’t need to include all of these machines or even any of them to be considered a makerspace.
1. Identify the Physical Space
One of the first steps in creating your makerspace is to identify the physical space you need. Every academy is different in how it is designed, and space can sometimes be very hard to find. Finding a corner of your room that you want to dedicate to making could be enough to get started. The space that you’ve chosen should be enough for your requirements.
2. Determine How Your Space Will Be Used
Once you have identified the space, start thinking about how it is going to be used throughout the day. Identify who is going to use the space primarily. Maintain an online calendar to manage the space. Bookings can be made online and can help avoid the problem of double bookings.
3. Determine Your Furniture Needs
Now that the space has been identified and you know how it is going to be used, you can start to consider furniture for it. Depending on the size of your space, you might want smaller tables that are on wheels so they can be moved around to form larger workspaces. Whiteboards are an excellent addition to a makerspace because they can create standing collaboration areas and save table space for physical building. Your furniture requirements also depend on what equipment or machines you’re going to install. If you are going to have 3-D printers, CNC machines and other heavy equipment, then you need to dedicate table space to these tools. Any tool that requires a level tabletop is best kept on a stationary table.
Creating a makerspace isn’t an easy job! But what’s the fun in doing easy things! So now that you know what all you need to consider for creating a makerspace, why don’t you give it a try! Take these initial steps in putting together your makerspace, and you will see it grow and flourish in no time.