Fablabs, hackerspaces etc: financially viable spaces for hardware hacking and digital fabrication

Open hardware is increasingly important in our world. It enables things like rapid prototyping, desktop manufacturing, robotics for the masses and low cost bioreactors; Arduino boards can now be found everywhere from dolls and wearables to the Large Hadron Collider. A large, skillful, creative community has grown around these technologies. It calls its members “Makers”.

Despite the hype about the third industrial revolution, the Maker community struggles to establish sustainable spaces in which to hack away at their favorite projects. I work for Arduino, and have been personally involved in several projects with this purpose (FabLab Torino, Vectorealism and WeMake in Milano…) and visited others (Metalab Vienna…) and talked to their promoters. Even now I am in the process of founding a company to run a makerspace in Milano. It is always tough. Most spaces that have achieved stability so far have done so through the involvement of large organizations, like universities or governments.

I would like to lead a workshop on this. The goal would be to try and sketch the business plan of a makerspace in a city like Matera. What are the conditions for it to be viable? I have been told a member of the Egderyders community, [James], has run a successful space in SHeffield, UK, for many years, and would welcome the opportunity to co-lead the workshop with him.

I need a room and 2 hours of time. I can only make Friday, but not Thursday.


Right on!

Hi Costantino, nice one! You will definetely have (at least) 3 presences: Rita, Antonio and I are working on this aspect and are going to attend the “Hire us” session led by Antonio and Nadia to speak about it. We strongly believe that it is not only about the hardware and the software, but also about leveraging on local resources, being there day after day and tailoring the business model (before the business plan, in our eyes) to what is happening in the Region (Matera 2019, but not only). We have been brainstorming on this for quite a while now, and were ready to go public: seems like after the Maker Faire many people got the same idea :slight_smile: It would be great to have brainstorm with you and mingle ideas and experience: really looking forward to it!

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Make it 4!

I’ll be there too. I already pinged Raffaele Ricciuti to see if he wants to join us.


You’re right @ilariadauria the Maker Fair was so inspiring! But, indeed, all that great success reminded us about dreams we’ve had some years ago! @costantino it’ll be a great pleasure to hear directly from you here in Matera, my home town. Ilaria, Antonio and I are working hard on local features which seems to be the main point, in our vision. I really hope to have a long discussion with you. A presto!


We’ll make it so that you run this on Friday ok?

Not sure [James] is coming to Lote though, at least I haven’t heard from him.

Saturday for the Community mt2019 session?

Ok! Do you think the Session on MT2019 community can be on Saturday? Many people will be working, so that would be a better moment. There is a group of students which is also coming from the North especially for the presentation :slight_smile:


it won’t be a presentation :wink:

It’s nice to see all this interest! When we thought about organizing a large event as the Maker Faire we hoped to reach this target: inspire more and more people to make or to make “Making togheter” possible! :)

I’m ok both on Fri and Sat, but I’d prefer not to overlap with Zoe’s uniform workshop as we’d like to take part to both :slight_smile:

run a makerspace in Milano

I am very interested in the project to run a makerspace in Milano (with a special attention to kids target, see my profile for more info on it).

Let me if is possible to collaborate. Thanks.

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He’s your man

Pageing [Costantino]. Also see his LOTE3 session’s documentation page.