Just built a cool DIY tech project that you’re proud of? Want to meet like-minded hackers who enjoy working on interesting electronics projects? Join a makerspace to be involved in the maker community!
Joining a maker space is a great way to:
- Share your DIY projects to get feedback
- Attend themed maker events and classes
- Meet and collaborate with other like-minded hackers
- Learn new trends in the hardware/DIY space
- Get new DIY project ideas
If you are wondering where to find a makerspace that suit your needs, we’ve compiled a list of best makerspaces ranging from local maker workshops to online hobbyist communities:
If you live in a metropolitan area, chances are you can find local makerspaces close to where you live. Some of these local makerspaces organize hardware events and some are more focused on classes, so it’s good to explore what each makerspace offers. Many of these local makerspaces post meetings through Meetup, an app that organizes online events. Below are a few examples of regional makerspaces in North America:
- Noisebridge (San Francisco, CA): Located in San Francisco, Noisebridge acts as a home base for tech hackers and hosts a different maker theme each day of the week. Events include Circuit Hacking Mondays, Hardware Hacking Tuesdays, Machine Learning Meetup, and more.
- LA Hardware Meetup (Los Angeles, CA): LA Hardware Meetup is a group for hardware enthusiasts in Southern California to discuss anything related to hardware. Many of their events are online which makes attendance more flexible, and they regularly invite speakers to the sessions. They also have a SF Hardware Startup Meetup group.
- Urban Workshop (Costa Mesa, CA): Urban Workshop is a membership-based makerspace that offers a variety of classes for both kids and adults, such as woodshop and robotics.
- MAxt Makerspace (Peterborough, NH): MAxt Makerspace is a membership-based makerspace that offers events and programs, as well as resources and equipment for woodworking, digital fabrication, and electronics.
- Katapult Makerspace (Dillsburgh, PA): Katapult Makerspace offers STEM-related events such as weekly robotics classes and engineering internship opportunities.
Public Library Makerspaces
Some regional makerspaces are actually organized by public libraries, which can be great for both adults and kids since many of them provide free resources and equipment for the local community. Below are a few established community makerspaces organized by local public libraries in North America:
- Bellevue Library Makerspace (Bellevue, WA): Part of the King County Library System in WA, the Bellevue Library Makerspace offers online maker programs and individual access to tools and equipment. Some equipment available include digital design workstation, laser cutter, and 3D printer.
- Hatch Makerspace (Watertown, MA): Hatch Makerspace is an initiative of the Watertown Free Public Library to hosts DIY workshops and events for the community. They offer resources such as 3D printing and laser cutting.
- Cincinnati Public Library MakerSpace (Cincinnati, OH): Spanned across 4 locations in Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Library MakerSpace offers a variety of maker programs and equipment such as 3D printing, laser cutter/engraver, photography/video station, and more.
- The Lab at Indian Creek (Olathe, KS): Part of the Olathe Library Makerspace, the Lab at Indian Creek offers equipment such as a laser engraver, large format printer, 3D printers, and a craft center for sewing and embroidery.
- EPL Makerspaces (Alberta, Canada): Organized by the Edmonton Public Library, the EPL Makerspaces have locations across Edmonton and host maker events including vinyl cutting and 3D printing classes.
If you are an undergraduate or graduate student, look into joining a makerspace at your school to utilize the equipment and work on cool tech projects. Below is a list of a few university makerspaces that are great resources for students to work on creative projects:
- Clemson Makerspace (Clemson University, SC)
- The PUL Makerspace (Princeton University, NJ)
- TechSpark (Carnegie Mellon University, PA)
- UNLV Makerspace (University of Nevada Las Vegas, NV)
- Indiana IoT Lab Fishers (Indiana University, IN)
- The Cornell Maker Club (Cornell University, NY)
Virtual and Digital Makerspaces
While there are a lot of great local and in-person maker communities, there are even more virtual makerspaces for hobbyists around the world to discuss ideas and collaborate. Check out these digital makerspaces and start sharing your projects online:
- Themed Subreddits: Reddit is a great online forum that organizes communities with similar interests. Look up whatever project you are working on and see if you can find a subreddit that matches your interest. A few subreddits that are great for hobbyists working with specific embedded boards: r/arduino, r/raspberrypi, r/esp32
- Hackaday: Hackaday is a website that shares interesting content for engineering enthusiasts, and Hackaday.io is Hackaday’s online maker community that lets people share and document their projects.
- Instructables: Instructables is a great maker website for sharing your circuit projects and learning step by step process of building interesting electronic projects. You can filter based on the type of component you want to work with and easily find the next cool Arduino project idea.
- Makerbot Thingiverse: Similar to Instructables, Makerbot Thingiverse is an online hobbyist community great for sharing your DIY tech projects and finding new ideas.
Are you ready to join a makerspace and start sharing your hardware projects with other hobbyists? Is there a great makerspace that you recommend fellow makers to check out? Let us know in the comments!