Starting The Rockford MakerSpace

Starting The Rockford MakerSpace (Click image to enlarge)
Kai Holdmann having some great ideas for the MakerSpace (Click image to enlarge)
Ideas posted on a piece of cardboard by those who attended our first planning and informational meeting, Dec. 17, 2015 (Click image to enlarge)
Planning and Informational Presentation, Kevin Holdmann and Doug Heimbecker. Space and photography provided by Pablo Korona and Conveyer, Dec. 17. 2015  (Click image to enlarge)
Desks to dump your next projects on (Click image to enlarge)
Tormach PCNC and workstation PC (Click image to enlarge)

A special thank you to Pablo Korona and Conveyer for helping us launch, pitch, and convey our idea to Rockford.

TAC Rockford is proud to announce the founding and hosting of the first official MakerSpace in Rockford, Illinois. 

Why have a MakerSpace in Rockford?

  • We were inspired by other groups in the area, and from Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, and Detroit all starting successful makerspaces. For years, Rockford did have a #MakerMovement for hobbies, arts, crafts, and school projects, but no permanent, public location to get together and work on a do-it-yourself project. We want to enhance and work with the #MakerMovement and turn Rockford into a great place to make things.
  • Rockford has a rich history of makers and machinists. Everything from furniture making and CNC programming, Rockford has a huge base of skilled professionals who may have ventured into other areas, wish to teach others their trades, and to express their works and creativity to the community. 
  • People in and around Rockford are brilliant minds, skilled makers, and hackers -- they deserve a space to expand and call their own. Many have told us, "it's about time!"

How to join

  • We are currently in the process of forming the committee that will manage and be responsible for the MakerSpace. TAC Rockford is simply pushing people through the door, offering a couple first physical locations and leased-starter equipment for free. Essentially, we want you (the community) to get involved any way you can and to shape what the MakerSpace will become. 
  • Join the official mailing list here, where we will keep you informed about joining committees, solutions, and how membership will work:

Ideas we've received from the community

  • Maintaining a library of crafts, ideas, and past maker recipes for inspiration to others. This will both be in printed and digital form, and be accessible to everyone.
  • Children and teens will be welcome as members, and we will have a special focus working with local schools.
  • Farming and agriculture should be a focus, given Rockford's historic roots started in farming. 
  • Incorporate a "hacker" ethos. Hackers are makers, too, and community hackerspaces are what really started the whole makerspace movement. The names are interchangeable, but the philosophy remains the same.
  • Have multiple spaces for different trades, especially for general office/IT/computer/training work. 

Who the space is designed for

  • Artists
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Arduino and micro-controller enthusiasts 
  • Robot makers
  • Farmers
  • Retired machinists 
  • Coffeemakers (both the human and machine kind)
  • 3d modelers
  • Literally everyone

What can you do with a MakerSpace?

  • Make birdhouses, custom furniture, or other DIY-made projects as gifts. 
  • You like working at home or in your garage, but maybe you need to go "out" for some inspiration.
  • Learn more about machining, 3d modeling, programming, or other skills.
  • Ask other people for help on a project. 
  • Run a business. 
  • Use technology and machines you never thought you would get to use because they were restricted-use, or too expensive to buy and store yourself. 
  • Build a time machine, but a flux capacitor is $36,000 on eBay, so you make one yourself or gather others to pitch in for it (and root/jailbreak it -- recommended). 

For more information, visit the Rockford MakerSpace website:




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