By Liz Bennett
What is Akron Makerspace? Only one of the most amazing hidden gems Akron has to offer! Seriously-- if I would have known about this place last year when I graduated from The University of Akron, I would have signed up to become a member immediately. Not only is it a perfect place for three-dimensional artists to thrive, it is a welcoming place for anyone who has an interest in learning and creating. This place is PACKED with creative technology, technological resources, and welcoming and knowledgeable peers. It only took one tour to convince me I needed to become a member, and I’ve been back several times since with friends and plans to keep attending regularly.
Can I say that they have basically everything? I mean, I could write a small book just trying to explain all of their equipment! Here are a few examples of what they have for members to use in the shop:
The first things I noticed were metalworking related, as I am a metalsmith and get most excited by metalworking and things that enable me to do that. There’s various welding and soldering methods provided, a kiln to facilitate casting, a cold saw, a metal lathe, oh- and there’s also a FORGE. On the less industrious side, they have dapping tools, and letter and number stamps. A lot of this equipment would be so hard for a budding metalsmith to get their hands on due to high costs and lack of space, not to mention running and maintaining, but at the Akron Makerspace, it’s all available for use!
My attention was quickly stolen away by the CNC machine and the woodshop. Even someone like me who has no experience using this machine could take a class here and be fully prepared to whip up a personal project in no time. If you prefer wood-working equipment that airs on the simpler side, you can also find that here, as all the basics are provided from cutting to sanding. There’s also a wood lathe, so pretty much any woodworking project you can think of can be completed here from start to finish. Get creative!
Honestly, in order to get a complete understanding of just how fully stocked Akron Makerspace is with incredibly useful equipment, you’d have to go…say on a Tuesday night at 7pm when they have open house and get a tour. To give you a bigger idea, they also have a 3D printer, a laser engraver, a vacuum casting machine, a bike shop, a glass fusing kiln, and a soft goods crafting area fully stocked with sewing equipment.
So what’s stopping you?! Go check out this wonderful resource Akron has, and get started on your latest project idea while you meet some pretty rad people. The Akron Makerspace can be found at 48 Summit St, Akron OH, 44308 which is basically right across from Summit Art Space. Visit their website akronmakerspace.org for more details on free events, classes, and more. Hope to see you there!