I was visiting my old friend Jerry in in Oklahoma City, OK in mid-April 2012 and took time to drag him to visit the local hackerspace Ohm Space . DL from Hackerspace Charlotte (North Carolina) was visiting the same day we were there.
We were met by Jason and Dylan, two of the founders of this space. I was totally blown away with how HUGE this space is, and how much stuff they have accumulated in their short existence (incorporated Feb 2011). The building is your basic brick industrial one story on an industrial road a block or two from a residential area. It is pretty close to the OKC airport (took me 10 minutes to drive to airport). The building is on a slight hill and so has a second story below the one visible from the main street. They have 10,000sqft upstairs, with several rollup doors for access, and another 4,000 sqft downstairs.
Inside is wide open, although they are in the process of renovating, painting and perhaps doing a bit of subdividing. They had plastic sheeting hung from the ceiling when I was there. This was to keep the dust and paint somewhat contained. It also served nicely to divide up the space. One area was full of wood shop equipment, including a large flatbed CNC built from particle board by a member. Another area had a large projection screen, rows of large open workbenches, all ready for member projects – along with a big row of full size lockers for storage. The last big subdivision had a whole bunch of equipment and projects stacked up and out on tables. There are separate real rooms along the back and side wall. One is full of couches and chairs, another (in process) room will hold their 20′ meeting room table. Side rooms held a big server rack (fiber internet hub is right near by), and a ‘security room’ used by the local computer security group… basically a nice quite separate room for programming, exploring etc.
Downstairs they have another big open space, that is pretty much empty at present. Well it does have a couple impressive bits of equipment. The big one is a Cincinnati Milacron CNC mill with 20 bit changer. This is a full size industrial CNC mill – that has seen its share of use. The Ohm folks have been reconditioning it and it is fully operational. They are fortunate to have several members whose day jobs are maintaining similar large machines. Another big piece down in the Ohm dungeon is a beautiful kiln, recently acquired by a member off E-Bay (if I recall correctly).
Ohm has LOTS of space and are only just beginning to get settled in it. Dylan and Jason have big plans and are very open to collaboration with others. We talked a bit about their history (Dylan was a rock concert organizer for many years, helping get the Norman OK festival started, etc.) and plans – a coffee shop and retail outlet with hacker gear someday! They are very interested in education and spreading MAKE technologies – especially in an open source fashion.
If you happen to be in Oklahoma, head over to OHM and check them out.
Here’s the full Flickr set of pics from Ohm Space visit: