Makerspaces are growing, so is 3D printing!
Hackerspaces, makerspaces and fablabs are community workshops where people can learn new skills and share ideas and tools. In recent years, many of them have opened, including in schools, libraries, and community centers. Just like online 3D printing services, they are wonderful places to get familiar with 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing, and good tools to let people into the production revolution that is in march. The good news is that there are 14 times more of them now than in 2006! An interesting question to ask is: how is Sculpteo different from a Makerspace?
Hackerspace.org continuously updates the list of makerspaces open in the world. The organisation reported 1400 active spaces over the world, and more than 400 in the US. The spaces can pop up anywhere, including in schools, libraries, companies and community centers.
Popular Science reported recently on the growth of these new spaces where digital manufacturing is accessible to everyone.
(chart by Katie Peek)
Have you ever been to a makerspace?
If not, or if you’re wondering what are your makerspace options, check out our guide of Makerspace in Paris Part 1 and Part 2 that we published in May 2016. Many of the spaces we introduce in this article and video series, like L’Etablisienne, Usine IO or Techshop Paris, are fairly unusual and have their own specialty and character. We reviewed them to help you choose which one fits the best with your project.
If you’re living or travelling in California, you’re lucky. California leads the pack with 56 makerspaces, nearly twice as many as runner-up New York. A lot of them are based in San Francisco and the Bay area such as Techshop, the Tinkering Studio in the Exploratorium or Mission Science Workshop.
What’s the difference between Sculpteo and a makerspace? Two sides of the digital manufacturing revolution
At Sculpteo our ambition is to build and offer you a digital manufacturing platform accessible directly from your laptop. Just like a makerspace, we buy and put in common for a lot of users a manufacturing equipment that each of them couldn’t afford. But our 3D printers and laser-cutters are expensive professional equipment that won’t produce the same results as the ones you can find in a makerspace. Actually we’ve invested millions every year into our factories to provide an interesting digital manufacturing service.
We cannot invest this money for the community and that’s the second main difference between Sculpteo and a makerspace. We do it as a business and we aim to price fairly our services and our materials. We think that online 3D printing and laser-cutting services are complimentary to makerspaces and that, together, we enable people and businesses to produce locally.