“A revolution is coming to the creation of things, comparable to the Internet’s effect on the creation and dissemination of ideas.” – Linus Chang
How do you take an idea and turn into a tangible product? Where can you learn how to use cutting-edge technology without being enrolled in a program? Whether your hobby is ceramics or you’re a serious entrepreneur, is there anywhere you can go to develop your skills and talent?
If you live in the Nashua area, the answer is MakeIt Labs.
Thursday night was the grand opening of MakeIt Labs new location on Crown Street. The huge 6,000 sq. ft. space is a haven for creative and curious people in the area to come together to tinker, innovate, solve problems and explore. Also known as “makerspaces” or “hackerspaces”, member-driven nonprofits like MakeIt Labs break down intimidating barriers by making equipment and knowledge accessible to everyone.
Where: MakeIt Labs – 25 Crown Street, Nashua, NH
Before the grand opening I had the preconceived notion that this was just a space for engineers. But I discovered people passionate about a variety of topics; the sheer variety of minds melding in this community of 100+ members blew me away. There’s an art room, kiln, woodworking area, 3-D printers, computers, automotive equipment, metal working tools and more. (You can read the full list of equipment available here: Equipment List)
One advantage of a space like this is that you can use equipment you might not be able to afford in your own home. But even more importantly, you have the opportunity to learn from other professionals and hobbyists. Or maybe you’re even the person who has something they can teach! A makerspace is a unique place to talk about ideas, exchange knowledge and collaborate on a project. In an era where everyone sees DIY projects on Pinterest or Youtube, there is a feeling now more than ever that you can create what you’ve imagined.
So how can you take advantage of this space?
- Become a member. “Hobbyist”, the basic level, is $40 a month and allows you to use the space 7 days a week but only after 7pm. The “Pro” membership is $75 a month for 24/7 access to the lab. Other rates include a military, school and corporate memberships. The membership is monthly, so no need to fear a binding year long contract.
- Take a class! Upcoming classes include laser cutting, 3D printing certification, pewter casting, molder and more! All open to the public. Here’s the schedule of what’s coming up soon: MakeIt Labs Events
In a larger context, when people develop their skills in a space like this, the local economy develops as well. It gives tools and resources to talent that may go on to start a business or build skills for a resume. And with the future commuter train connecting Nashua and Boston and the development of downtown apartment spaces, MakeIt Labs joins a growing list of attractions that will help lure young professionals to this area. You might also remember my posts on the Picker Building and the Nashua Lady Project, other examples of dynamic and vibrant talent shaping Nashua as a community of makers.
If you’d like to learn more be sure to check out MakeIt Labs weekly open house every Thursday from 6pm – 9pm. It really is a unique, high-quality and professional space that’s sure to capture your imagination.