A new collaborative workspace for education, exploration and innovation is coming to downtown Hartford, Connecticut in 2018.
MakerspaceCT, a 501(c)3 non-profit, will emerge as the destination in the state for makers of all stripes. Prospective inventors, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, hobbyists and students across the region will be empowered with access to tools, technology, resources and learning opportunities.
The planned 20,000+ square-foot facility — Connecticut’s largest makerspace — will be located at the former G. Fox Building at 960 Main Street, Hartford.
MakerspaceCT will be a community resource open to the public offering classes for all types of equipment and tools needed to make or manufacture prototypes, cosplay, hobbies or artistic projects.
Our emphasis is on hardware, prototype creation, CNC machining, electronics, coding, fiber arts, fabrication (both wood and metal), traditional blacksmithing, glass-blowing, ceramics and the arts.
The facility’s easily accessible downtown location and public service mission allow it to become a valuable community resource. The large, well-equipped space will be a focal point for collaboration for businesses and individuals.
“Connecticut has the potential to be a national leader and invest in the next generation of makers. Our manufacturing history can be the foundation for a vibrant, tech-savvy, economy- driving future,” said Devra Sisitsky, Executive Director and co-founder with Bryan Patton. “MakerspaceCT will be in the vanguard of that effort, with innovation, entrepreneurship and workforce development at the core.”
Nationally, the Maker Movement fuels reinvigorated American manufacturing, making more readily available the tools for designing and building. The American resurgence in do-it-yourself (DIY) activities in recent years includes electronics, robotics, 3D printers and scanners, laser cutters, CNC machine, tools, metalworking, wood-working and more traditional arts and crafts. All of which can find a home at MakerspaceCT.
“Making is a vehicle to lift up individuals and communities,” Sisitsky said.
Construction on the space will commence by the end of the year, with a planned opening in the Summer of 2018. However, educational programming will begin downtown well before the official opening. Starting in Winter of 2018, MakerspaceCT will offer free, hands-on educational workshops in disciplines such as Arduino programming, CAD and laser cutting. Scholarships for these courses will be available to all Hartford-area residents.
In the coming weeks, MakerspaceCT will be hiring for an Education Director to administer these programs, as well as a General Shop Manager for the Makerspace facility. More details will be available soon.
“We look forward to supporting this initiative,” said Glendowlyn Thames, Executive Director of CTNext, Connecticut’s go-to resource for entrepreneurial support.
Sisitsky added: “Precisely this type of innovation can boost our economy with high-skills, high-wage jobs, and help to revitalize local communities and our state.”
A recent report, developed by the National League of Cities, the Urban Manufacturing Alliance, and Recast City, supports these economic claims. The study finds that artisans and small-scale manufacturers are already generating billions of dollars in the world economy, and could be poised to become an even larger force with proper support.
“The maker economy is, in many cities, an untapped economic development powerhouse,” said Emily Robbins, an economic development associate at the National League of Cities and one of the authors of the report.
MakerspaceCT is slated to include more than a dozen shops on-site, providing access to various equipment, including:
- Machine shop with Haas TM3P milling center, CNC lathe, and conventional machining equipment with DRO’s
- Omax 5×10 waterjet cutting machine and software
- Welding shop with Mig, Tig, Plasma cutting, blacksmithing and casting ovens
- Wood shop with 5×10 CNC wood router, Saw Stop industrial table saw, panel saw, large planer and jointer, shaper, bandsaws and much more
- Electronics and robotics shop with comprehensive selection of components and parts in stock, high quality meters and test equipment, PCB board milling machine
- Digital Fabrication shop, including several commercial 3D printers with different technologies, laser cutters, wide format printers and cutting machines, well equipped computer lab with leading software packages and fiber optic internet connection
- Metal fabrication shop with sheet metal forming tools, iron worker machine, hydraulic tube bender, notcher, industrial cut-off and band saws, polishing and grinding equipment
- Plastic injection machine, heater bender, vacuum former, and vacuum bagging machine
- Fiber Arts industrial sewing equipment, pottery and glass blowing equipment
MakerspaceCT is a program of McEIVR, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit.
For more information, contact: