About Maui Makers
Maui Makers is a maker space on the island of Maui – i.e. we provide tools, space, instruction and community to support the making of things.
Our online presence consists of this blog, a google group for email discussions, a FaceBook group, a Meetup Group, and a (not very active) twitter account (@MauiMaker). The google and FaceBook groups are the most active streams. There is also our Flickr stream.
We generally have open meetings on the first Thursday of the month from 6-9pm. Come visit and see what we are doing. Membership information is on this page Our meeting locations vary, as we continue to search for a suitable permanent location, so check the above social media streams and this blog for updates.
Maui Makers has recently incorporated as a non-profit and has filed for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. The corporation is still in its infancy and working to get everything organized. Expect increased activity in the near future as we build up our space.
Why Join Maui Makers?
A Maker Space provides shared physical resources otherwise unaffordable or unattainable by an individual. It also provides a dynamic workspace with access to collaboration, inspiration & encouragement of others. The idea is similar to “business incubators” or “co-working” spaces, although instead of offering an office space, Maker Spaces provide a group project workshop.
What is a Maker Space?
The Fab Lab grew from an MIT class “How to make (almost) anything.” and retains an academic focus as it has spread around the world. Neil Gershenfeld documents the Fab Lab in his book “FAB: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop–From Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication“ and articulates it well in a 2006 TED talk. The US Fab Lab Network (USFLN) is a loose association of these in the USA. Most Fab Labs are associated with a college, university or an established community organization. A general tenet of a Fab Lab is public access, and public sharing of anything created. That is, it may NOT be a good place to start a proprietary business.
Hackerspaces are a more organically grown approach, created by a group of friends with the idea of a shared workshop/clubhouse. Makerspace is pretty much the same thing with a possibly easier name for some people to accept. There are as many variations of hackerspace as there are spaces – and there are hundreds around the world. There is a great collection space design patterns on the Hackerspace.org wiki.
TechShop is a commercial franchise variation. There are a small number of these in operation, mostly in the San Francisco Bay area. They require a LARGE capital investment with lots of equipment available. Very cool places…but not practical for Maui.
For more on Makers, check out these videos:
Dale Dougherty: We are makers
PBS Newshour: “Can DIY Movement Fix a Crisis in U.S. Science Education?”
and check those in the ‘videos’ category in the right side menu.
Right now we are in the process of establishing a strong foundation as a Hawaii non-profit. Watch for changes.