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