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October 4, 2009
News - 2018 Customer Survey Reca…
about 2 years ago
Based on my experience, I think most people don't have access to a reasonably accessible makerspace that is properly equipped.
All the places I've lived have been university towns, which I'd expect to have a prime demographic for makerspaces, however only the city I current city I live in has a makerspace... and it has issues.
The makerspace is owned and operated by the university which causes a few problems, most of which I won't get in to. It was founded by a woodworking group, and it shows; they have some high end woodworking equipment but the other areas are mostly donated equipment and are quite lacking. A lot of people who shop at sparkfun probably have better equipped electronics benches than the makerspace does (more on that later). To be fair you might suggest they are just starting out and are still building up, however in the tour I took a year and a half ago they had no metalworking and claimed they'd be setting it up in the following year. According to their website none of that has been added, so they aren't really expanding/improving at all.
And then there is price... A one year membership is $660. Not only is that more expensive than I'd consider reasonable for a weekend hobbyist, but the cost of a one year membership is enough to fully equip your own workbench with better equipment than they provide AND have money left over for random components to play with.
I know I'm ranting a bit, and I don't mean to be tearing apart the local makerspace. My point is that from what I've seen it's not that people don't want to visit a makerspace, but that I think most people don't have a makerspace near them worth going to.
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