This Week in Laundry

Tech, Travel, Design, and Domestics.

Dallas Makerspace

Living: 31 stories in the sky, Dallas

Working: 31 stories in the sky, Texas

Laundry: Main Street District. Dallas. 31 stories in the sky.

This Week in Laundry I joined the Dallas Makerspace.

I first encountered the maker movement, in the form of a makerspace, when I lived in Chicago. I had a project – an interactive light element for my punk band – that required a good bit of woodwork to pull off. Not exactly something I could pull off in my small apartment.

So I searched around. The parks district maintains a handful of woodshops. But it seemed restrictive to my needs – plus I planned on acrylic work.

That’s when I came across pumping station one. The Chicago makerspace. Newly relocated into a larger location containing full wood and metal shops. I joined sight unseen.

While I came to PS1 for the woodworking – it was the community that I found so engaging. I’ve made several friends through PS1. I even taught a class. Though I never did get around to finishing that light project in its full 8 foot format.

Ah woodshop. A valuable component in any makerspace. The DMS woodshop – fully stocked with all sorts of helpful tools.

The Multicam – a three axis CNC wood router for large format. I wish PS1 had one of these when I first started. (PS1 does own a shopbot now).

In 2016 I found the opportunity to visit many a makerspace. Or hackerspace. Depending upon how the organization chose to identify itself. The largest was in Longmont, CO. The most engaging was in Boulder, CO. A small space. But I spent an hour after the weekly meeting helping someone with CAN protocols (a specialty of mine). They were trying to hack a wheelchair motor protocol. So to make it autonomous. It was part of a DEF CON presentation.

Boulder’s space was fairly small. Like Pittsburgh’s. Not as small as the one in Bozeman MT though. Asheville, NC had an interesting space as well. A very well engaged space, for a metro that doesn’t hold much of a tech scene.

The autoshop at DMS. Complete with lift, gantry, and parts washing. A feature I’ve not seen in other spaces.

All in all the Dallas space shows rather impressive. Larger than PS1 when I was a member. Second only to the space in Longmont. Plenty of 3D printers, laser cutters, Wood & Plasma CNC machines, and even a six axis HAAS mill.

3D printers galore. DMS favors PolyPrint.

CNC Plasma Cutter and Welding stations

Six axis Haas CNC Mill. This is a treasure very few spaces can afford.

And a pinball department. Vector.

Vector – the pinball and arcade repair department at the Dallas Makerspace

I went for laser training yesterday. Just one of many tools I might need, and hope to use, during my Dallas development.

The three laser cutters. I’ll be authorized to use these soon.

It was true to makerspace form. I met great people. And I learned a thing or two. But mostly, I got to experience that warm feeling of being part of a community. A community that helps each other.

A community of plants and fish. An aquaponics setup at the Dallas Makerspace.

I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be in Dallas. But however much longer that might be, I look forward to the projects and the people filling this place.

The extremely well equipped electronics department. Thanks in part to a large Mouser contribution. A fantastic place for the circuit nerd in need.

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  1. Jen0 January 25, 2017

    Although I’ve yet to visit a maker’s space yet, I’ve always wanted to. I wonder if they ever do demonstrations for Scouts?

    I also seem to follow you, or you follow me! (I grew up in the Chicagoland, moved to Co, lived in Longmont, worked in Boulder, back to Il, and now we’re in Plano, Tx!!

    • Andrew February 3, 2017 — Post Author


      Very interesting. I find it fascinating the way people move around the US, and then settle into homes.

      Everyone at the Makerspace helps make it happen through volunteer efforts. So while available time might be a little tight, I’d image the space would love to welcome a scout group. It definitely co-insides with the space’s not-for-profit mission focused on education. I recommend reaching out to a board member. info [at] dallasmakerspace [dot] org is likely the best starting place.

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