Maker Spaces

Maker spaces provide affordable equipment & work spaces for growing small manufacturing.

Benefits & Problems Addresssed

Reintroduction of manufacturing: Small scale re-shoring (as opposed to offshoring) can bring back activity & jobs to former industrial hubs that have manufacturing infrastructure and access to materials and transportation.

Buildings: Older industrial and warehouses provide open, configurable space otherwise un- or underused.

Job & training networks: Samll scale manufacturing helps bring new skills and new techniques such as 3-D printing.

Tips & Techniques

Getting started: See if expandable, communal kitchens & workshops exist. Approach libraries & schools, which are emerging as popular maker hubs.

How To Guide: The site Maker City offers an online textbook.  Chapters include (1) A Call to Action, (2) An overview of the maker movement in cities, (3) he ecosystem needed, (4) Education, (5) Workforce and Economic Development, (6) Advances in manufacturing & supply chains, (7) Real estate,  (8) Civic engagement and (9) The Future.

Online hubs & maps: Create maps & hubs to link small businesses and makers. Today's manufacutring has a large digital component so identify critical support systems for design, supply chains, clean manufacturing, traditional & digital marketing and distribution.

Food processing space: As cities & towns establish local food production, processing facilities are an important method for expanding markets and the economic calendar. Establishing a shared  fully-licensed commercial kitchen helps smaller businesses meet rules while experimenting and growing. These spaces can also host events and pair chefs with budding food entrepreneurs.

Hot Buttons: Operational safety with heavy equipment Cost and complexity or renovating older buildings for manufacturing. 


Image: Flickr/5chw4r7z