Makerspaces are collaborative work areas with tools and equipment where people interested in innovation and invention can come together to design, build, create, and engineer. It is open to all, irrespective of age, educational qualifications or gender.
Maker culture in India is still a relatively new concept, with just below 20 makerspaces opened up in a few cities across the country. Makerspaces, or DIY spaces, are places where people with an interest in science, technology, engineering, robotics, mechanics, innovation, invention and creativity, gather to put all their ideas into action. It is open to all, irrespective of age, educational qualifications or gender.
A makerspace is where you go if you have ideas but not the necessary resources, tools, equipment, physical space and technical advice to turn that idea into a physical product. It’s also where you design your own prototypes, have fun, interact with other people who think like you, and even make an Iron Man suit for the next cosplay.
Usually, makerspaces are equipped with 3D printers and other such large machines that one cannot afford as an individual. They also provide training on the use and possibilities of these equipment. Check out these makerspaces, open to all, in these cities:
MUMBAI: Maker’s Asylum
Source: Maker’s Asylum
One of the most popular makerspaces in India, Maker’s Asylum was born in a garage in Bandra, where founders Vaibhav and Anool would work on breaking and making things. Today, MA has two makerspaces in Mumbai and one in Delhi. The labs are open all day and night, catering to the working professionals who can only afford to spend time on working on their dream project at night. They also provide classes and training for operating tools and exploring possibilities of making stuff.
Tools: 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, electronics lab and prototyping tools for woodworking, robotics, bicycle building and repair, rapid prototyping, open source computer-aided design.
Membership: Starts from Rs 3500 per month
DELHI: JMoon Makerspace
JMoon is Delhi’s first makerspace founded by Jasmeet Singh in 2014. It provides tools and accessories as well as equipment for projects in robotics, home automation, embedded systems, wearable tech, internet of things, woodwork and even cosplay suits. You can also get parts on rent here, or buy them at the store within the lab.
Tools: Hacksaw, 3D printer, laser engraver, TSOP infrared set, heat gun, and a lot more.
Membership: Starts from Rs 3000 per month
Other options in Delhi: Ardubotics, Stirring Minds, Nuts and Boltz
BENGALURU: Workbench Project
A fablab (fabrication lab) and co-working space, Workbench Project is Bengaluru’s prime makerspace, spanning 5000 sq ft. It was founded by Pawan Kumar and Anupama Gowda as they realised the need for a proper workspace that inspires creativity and rekindles ambitions in engineers, whose job it is to engineer products. They also have a cafe right next to the workspace lab, where every equipment that makes food was made in-house.
Membership: Starts at Rs 3000 a month
Other workspaces in Bengaluru: IKP-EDEN and Think Happy Everyday Workshop (THE Workshop)
KOCHI: KSUM Fab Lab
A recent addition, Fab Lab in Kochi is a collaboration between the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and MIT, with another branch in Trivandrum, where it is established within the campus of IITM-K. The facilities available here are ideal for people with minimal training or engineering experience. The focus is on digital fabrication technology, with which the founders aim to grow startups in printed electronics and other such fields.
Tools: Laser cutter, 3D printer, vinyl plotter, sand blaster, electronics test equipments
AHMADABAD: CEPT Fab Lab
Another FabLab from MIT, this one is run in association with CEPT University and Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation. They have innovative projects, interesting workshops and ideas on sustainable living.
Tools: CNC Milling, 3D printing, circuit production, laser cutting, precision milling
PUNE: Fablab at Vigyan Ashram
Pune’s was one of the first Fab Labs to start in India by MIT, established in 2002 by Neil Greshenfield, director, Center of Bits and atoms, MIT. Here, makers get to use machines that are commercially available, along with parts linked with software developed by MIT. Besides hosting students of graduation or post-graduation projects, this fab lab also undertakes projects related to egg incubators, agri-sensors, human power based lighting solutions and more.
Tools: Laser cutter, Roland Milling machine, 3D printer, oscilloscope, soldering equipment
CHENNAI: Chennai Makerspace
Founded in 2015, this makerspace in Chennai has a plethora of equipment and tools that caters to creative and innovative folk of the city. The space also hosts training workshops, and encourages makers to teach what they know to each other. So far, they’ve had workshops on Internet of Things, PCB (printed circuit board) making, and image processing with a laser scanner.
Tools: Tools for PCB fabrication, 3D printer, sensor tools, drills
HYDERABAD: Collab House
With a branch in Bengaluru, Collab House is host to hackers, makers and startups, while also providing space for events. They also run workshops and training courses, besides providing space for innovators and inventors to tinker with their technology using the tools provided at the venue.
Tools: 3D printer
Membership: Starts from Rs 3500
MEERUT: Meerut Maker Space
The Meerut Maker Space is for the creative science junkies in Meerut, where a tradition of conservativeness has snuffed out original talent and innovative ideas. The founders, realising the dire need for a collaborative workspace for bright young – and old – minds, started the MakerSpace, where they’ve already worked on developing brilliant ideas into actual products. For instance, makers have created the SWARMY, “for researchers who can test various algorithms on it without spending their time and money on developing a platform for themselves,” according to their website.
KOLKATA: Maker’s Loft
Maker’s Loft is perhaps the only makerspace which also has a dedicated space for children to get hands-on experience in science and technology. It promotes a healthy interest in science, engineering, robotics and other such technology in children, teaching them more than textbooks. Children interact with older kids and adults, learning from each other, while also improving group skills. Maker’s Loft is also open to adults.
Tools: 3D printer and scanner, Google Cardboard, laser cutting machine
Membership: Starts from Rs 3000