Makerspaces are the conduit between thinking of an idea and having a final product come into existence. Whether it’s making arts and crafts, building that desk you saw on Pinterest, learning to take more professional pictures or just working on your own personal car or bike. A makerspace provides the creative environment where these projects thrive.Let’s say we had a billion dollar idea, Taco Drone Delivery! What if we had a drone that in one way or another could deliver tacos to customers? Great idea, I like tacos and if I could get them delivered when I was at the park even better! What are the next steps? How can we build a drone? How would the drone deliver the tacos? How could it be controlled? Wait a minute … what is a drone in the first place? There are so many questions that would arise from this single idea. What a makerspace seeks to do is facilitate the tools, provide a collaborative environment so your idea can flourish, and hopefully steer you to the answers for all your questions.
How can we build a drone? Well you’ll need to do some electrical work, get some form of micro-controller, one or more speed-controllers, some form of remote control system, do some programming and then you’ll need drone parts as well. If you want a drone that delivers tacos, you’ll have to work out a way for delivery. Can the drone delivery system, or the drone itself, be made from 3D printed parts? Maybe it can be made from Plexiglas, balsa wood or a combination of those materials? You’ll do some research on drones, take the best ideas you like of existing models, modify them a bit and make them your own. Instead of paying $1000+ for a drone that will still need to be modified, why not pay a fraction of that amount and make something completely custom that can serve your purpose? Prototyping is at the forefront of what a makerspace is all about. But a makerspace is so much more than that. What have we accomplished with this single idea and new drone product? We’ve thought of a method to bring tacos to the masses via aerial delivery! Well, yes but here’s the bigger picture. With this single idea we could have possibly spurred business growth, jobs, new product development and even idea collaboration.
Stay with me here as we go over some of the possibilities. So we have our final new drone delivery product, that’s great, here are some things to think about. Could you market the drone product to established restaurants that could use this technology? What if a business saw a different way to utilize your drone delivery system? Think Amazon and package delivery. What about the specific engineered pieces of the drone themselves? What if someone sees value in a single part of your innovative drone delivery system and wants to buy the rights to use it in their own business? What if your drone solution has gone mainstream and businesses are requesting thousands of units, how many jobs will be needed to fill the demand? All these are great possibilities, but the most exciting possibility, in my opinion, is now that you’ve accomplished the task of building a working drone, what other ideas and problems can you solve or build products for with the skills and experience you’ve learned to get you to this point? The possibilities are endless when we spur innovation, creativity and knowledge! Each project we take on, whether it’s a success or failure opens our world up to additional projects, problems and solutions. By gaining incremental knowledge though these projects we grow our skill set and gain valuable experience. What would you create if you had the experience, skills and tools required to complete your next project or idea? What about the next one? And the next …?
So the question we originally asked, “Why should I become a member of a makerspace?” should really be “Do I really want to miss out on everything I can learn and experience from being a member of a makerspace?”
Side note: Think the days of taco delivery drones are years in our future? Think again, check out what Tacocopter is doing.