Have you heard of HackerSpaces? They are a new breed of community space popping up in warehouses across the country. Like the name suggests, these spaces are outfitted with all the tech tools and machinery a budding hacker or craftsman could dream of — 3D printers, wood routers, laser engravers, etc. If you ever wish you could go back to shop class to use that router or welding torch again, these spaces may be for you.
Hacker spaces are often non-profit businesses fueled by a passionate community of people interested in teaching their crafts and collaborating on new innovations. With several significant spaces throughout the country offering everything from wood routing to robotics, they are home to not just the computer hacker, but also the IKEA hacker. Some of these hacker spaces have even served as the founding grounds for things like Pinterest and Makerbot.
If you have a desire to develop a hobby or skill, or are looking to collaborate on a large scale project with like-minded individuals, then a hacker space in your area may be able to help.
Joining them often only requires very reasonable monthly dues of $30–50 to offset the costs of running these large square-foot facilities. You can find one in your area by checking out hackerspaces.org or by doing a google search for hackerspace and your city or state.
Some spaces of note include: