The Big Book of Makerspace Projects: Inspiring Makers to Experiment, Create, and Learn

Start-to-finish, fun projects for makers of all types, ages, and skill levels!

This easy-to-follow guide features dozens of DIY, low-cost projects that will arm you with the skills necessary to dream up and build your own creations. The Big Book of Makerspace Projects: Inspiring Makers to Experiment, Create, and Learn offers practical tips for beginners and open-ended challenges for advanced makers. Each project features non-technical, step-by-step instructions with photos and illustrations to ensure success and expand your imagination. You will learn recyclables hacks, smartphone tweaks, paper circuits, e-textiles, musical instruments, coding and programming, 3-D printing, and much, much more!

Discover how to create:

• Brushbot warriors, scribble machines, and balloon hovercrafts
• Smartphone illusions, holograms, and projections
• Paper circuits, origami, greeting cards, and pop-ups
• Dodgeball, mazes, and other interesting Scratch games
• Organs, guitars, and percussion instruments
• Sewed LED bracelets, art cuffs, and Arduino stuffie
• Makey Makey and littleBits gadgets
• Programs for plug-and-play and Bluetooth-enabled robots
• 3D design and printing projects and enhancements

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  • The Big Book of Makerspace Projects Inspiring Makers to Experiment Create and Learn

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Creators build and collaborate at MakerSpace

Actually Makerspace has been open since 2014 — The grand opening was announced as “Finally!” — but it took two years to “polish up” the building, said Joe Durbin, who co-owns the site with his wife, Miranda.

“Makerspaces” are growing in popularity throughout the country, getting people to bring their skills out of basements and garages and use them cooperatively. There are three such spaces in the Twin Cities alone. The Duluth MakerSpace currently has 30-50 active members, Joe said, adding that he wants to bring it up to the “sustainable” level of 70.

The Durbins became interested in starting a makerspace and found a group already existing in Duluth, but without a building. So they bought a closed repair shop, formerly PDQ Engine & Machine, and along with other members and volunteers, went through the arduous task of cleaning it up — “a lot of power-washing,” Miranda said — to bring the place up to code and bring in equipment. Much of the equipment is on loan from members; some has been donated or loaned by local companies and others purchased at auctions.

Joe’s background is in computers, but “I enjoy doing things with my hands after all the programming,” he said. Miranda is a naturalist on the staff of the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, a field she acknowledges is “far removed” from the industrial setting of the Makerspace. The Durbins previously created the online fantasy game “Horse Isle.”

The space offers classes in topics including glass engraving, industrial sewing, Arduino microcontrollers, 3D printing, metal shop, welding, stone cutting and polishing, rock engraving, electronic soldering, watercolor and “the Big CNC,” the last referring to the 8-by-10-foot Computer Numerical Control router.

Memberships with full access to the space are $45 per month (or $450 per year) and $60 per couple. Members must be 18 or older, given that much of the equipment is not exactly kid-friendly — “too many sharp things,” said Joe — and children in the shop must be accompanied by adults. Classes are available to both members and nonmenbers. There are also “volunteer forced labor camps” in which people are invited to work together on larger projects.

More information may be found at duluthmakerspace.com or at Duluth MakerSpace on Facebook.