Last Friday I settled into the Johnson County MakerSpace. I have read about makerspaces, watched webinars, joined in on the creation of one, used many of the tools associated with them, yet this was my first time to visit one. The new space opened last week at the Johnson County Central Resource Library, see their webpage here:

In the new space, which is really a combination of a makerspace and digital content creation area, you will find two iMacs, a small table for soldering and building, a green screen for video effects, video/photography lighting, a cabinet full of digital content creation peripherals, sewing machine, and finally a Makerbot 3D printer.  This project did not rely on any grants and will grow with new tools depending on patron demand. There is no cost for using anything and they will allow you to use the area for 2 hours (longer if no one else needs it). The hours for the space are the same as the library’s though I would recommend reserving a time if you plan on printing something out on the Makerbot.

Their first programming events will be held on April 4th from 4 to 6 pm. The event is called: Some Disassembly Required, and will consist of hands-on deconstruction of devices, with the goal of seeing how things work and what parts might be useful in other makerspace projects.

On Saturday May 11th from 10 am to 4 pm the Central Resource Library will host: Make-A-Story. This session will be a mash-up of makerspace and more traditional Children’s book week activities for K-6th graders and their families. Attendees will be encouraged to make stories come to life with music, illustrations, videos, puppets, and more.

Hardware and Software at the JoCo MakerSpace

  • 2 iMac Computers: Digital Content Creation: video, audio, photo, 3D modeling
  • Makerbot Replicator 2: 3D printer
  • Sony HDR Digital Camera & Tripod: Video Production
  • Softbox Video Lighting: Video Production
  • Canon High Resolution Scanner: Photography and Design
  • Wacom bamboo Create Tablet: Photography and Design
  • Blue Yeti Microphone: Audio Recording
  • Sennheiser Headphones: Audio and Video Editing/Playback
  • Soldering Irons: Circuitry
  • Singer Elite Sewing Machine: Textile Creation
  • Adobe Creative Suite: Digital Content Creation
  • Final Cut Pro: Video Editing
  • Sketchup Pro: Photography and Design
  • iLife, iWorks Suite: Digital Content Creation
  • Microsoft Office: Digital Content Creation
  • Cheetah 3D: 3D modeling and Animation
  • Corel Painter Essentials: Photography and Design
  • Scanning Software: Photography and Design
  • Photoshop Elements: Photography and Design
  • Handbrake: Video Editing
  • Audacity: Audio Editing
  • Blender 3D: 3D modeling and Animation

In the coming months I will be serving as a judge and consultant with Lawrence’s The Worksop, a fledgling community makerspace, so I am looking forward to getting even more hands-on time with these tools.

Next month I will be presenting Digital Creation in 3D! at our annual tech day where I will go over tools that allow you to create real world “things” beyond the printed page, video, and audio.

If you have questions, feedback, would like more resources, or simply want to “geek out” about makerspaces, hackerspaces, tools, hardware and software please feel free to drop me a line!

Photo Credit: “Gears.” by Flickr user ianmunroe under a Creative Commons license.