NTX Magazine Volume 4 - Page 78

Dallas Makerspace laser cutting. Free classes and unbridled enthusiasm come complimentary (or “almost free,” depending on the class and materials needed) at both Dallas Makerspace and Tarrant Makers. Dallas and Fort Worth join a collection of makerspaces across the country, from Artists in Asylum in Massachusetts to i3 in Detroit, ATX in Austin to the Columbus Idea Factory in Ohio, where the communal approach to creativity with shared ideas, equipment, space and support seems to have caught on. “The whole makerspace idea is taking off because people no longer want to be consumers,” said Robert Bradbury, co-founder and past president of Tarrant Makers. “They want to empower themselves to build things to fit their lifestyle. Want to be individuals now rather than just accepting things that fit the mass culture.” This is a perfect fit with the “can-do” Texan mentality that befits most North Texans. “In the past, we were building things,” said Bradbury. “It was a ‘farmer mentality.’ If you didn’t have it, you built it. In the 1970s, when we went to mass production of things like consumer electronics, it became cheaper to buy something new rather than fix it, when we went to integrated circuits from vacuum tubes. Now, people are wanting to take back that ability to create for themselves the products that they want -- whether they currently exist or not. 76 www.ntc-dfw.org Winter/Spring 2015 Space of Dreams Dallas Makerspace now exists in a 16,800-square-foot facility in Carrollton full of the kind of equipment that makes just about any idea possible. Multiple 3-D printers and scanners, laser cutters, wood-working equipment, welding tools, wide-format printers, electrical equipment and much, much more are open 24 hours a day to paying members, anyone 15 years old or over who pays the $50 a month membership fee. There are even pinball machines and a “bio department.” Lots of electrical power and outlets and dedicated areas provide possibilities and organization. New fiber In addition to the workshop space, Dallas Makerspace hosts events for members and non-members alike, most of which are free. Drawing classes, robotics events, and classes in everything from blacksmithing to brass etching to building your own processor or making your own video recordings usi