In Newcastle upon Tyne, located in North-East England, lies Newcastle Makerspace. This is an eclectic group of makers, creatives, programmers, scientists, and engineers. They’ve set up a space to meet, work, socialize, share ideas and collaborate.
Gregory Fenton is a member and wants to tell us a little bit more about what they’re working on.
|Location||18 New Bridge Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AW, England|
|Members||Lots and growing fast.|
CW: Tell us about your meeting space.
We have 2 large rooms, one for relaxing, holding meetings and talks etc., and one for working on projects. We also have a fully networked computer room with spare monitors and keyboards for people who bring in their Raspberry Pi. Another room is dedicated to our lathe and laser cutter. There’s a kitchen area so people can prepare meals and make drinks and a well-organized storage rack.
CW: What sort of tools do you have at Makerspace Newcastle?
- Soldering stations (including SMD soldering using heat)
- Two 3D printers (both working and being built by members)
- A lathe
- A laser cutter (ordered, just waiting on delivery)
- Bench drills and saws
- Circular saws, sanders, grinders, and lots of general hand and power tools
CW: What’s on your wish list?
A laser CNC and newer tables and chairs would be nice additions.
CW: What sort of embedded tech does your group work with?
We use lots of embedded technology such as Arduinos, BeagleBoards, Raspberry Pis, PICs, etc… for various projects.
CW: What are some projects that your group has been working on?
We have so much going on, projects that come to fruition and projects just being imagined that I could go on for ever!
- One of our members is building a large quadcopter from scratch with a 3D camera mounted underneath it.
- Another is working on a candy machine that feeds the Makers whenever someone tweets to it (give it a try by sending a tweet containing the word candy to @maker_space).
- Several of our members are building 3D printers of various styles and sizes.
- One of our members designs costumes for shows, circuses and events.
- A different member is taking his children’s old baby clothes and making a quilted “memory blanket,” as well as creating wooden toys to give to them now they are a little older.
- Some of our junior members are learning about programming, interfacing to electronics and relays, and making toys by hand from balsa wood.
- One of our members is creating a power extension that is controlled remotely using Arduinos, servo motors and a GSM shield to switch on and off individual plugs via text message (SMS).
- A project that’s being done as a group is a Raspberry Pi media server that plays music and controls other devices such as an amplifier, lights and LED strips. I don’t think this project will ever truly be finished as every completed task leads to “wouldn’t it be cool if we did …”.
What’s the craziest project your group or group members have completed?
Easy. We decided we wanted a laser cutter, went on a members pledge drive and had the money to buy it outright within a week! It is in China at the moment but soon we’ll be cutting out plexiglass and wood like there is no tomorrow!
Do you have any events or initiatives you’d like to tell us about? Where can we learn more about it?
We regularly hold events both in the space itself and in other places in the surrounding area. Check our blog and mailing list from our website for upcoming and past events.
What would you like to say to fellow hackers out there?
- Always follow rule zero: Do not be on fire.
- Safety is everyone’s responsibility.
- Don’t have a space local to you? find a few like minded individuals and set up your own! You can start small (a garage or shed) and expand as time passes and membership increases.
- If a project interests you, tell the world. Circuit Cellar, Blog, Facebook, Twitter… Spread the word.