We had the pleasure of visiting the folks at Inventors Forge in St Louis recently.
They started the makerspace in this ex-retail space, with a growing group who is passionate about making. Size constraints of the space did not slow them down- with a cooperative landlord, they haul the table saw out into the parking lot when they need to use it here. They have well equipped workstations for electronics, laser cutting, 3D printing and woodburning that are obviously well used.
Social Spaces are an important feature in any makerspace and they have successfully incorporated a nice discussion/snack nook into this space.
There is evidence of their quirky sense of humor and some fun found in many little details in the space.
Storage is efficient, and closet space is well used at Inventors Forge. They also added some walls in the space and created a great classroom space that easily works for 12-16 people. They frequently do workshops and classes in this space both for members and the public.
They were blessed to receive a grant from the state of Missouri that allowed them to expand and add a second space inside the local business incubator. This grant funded equipment as well as rent in this new space. They have focused the new space on expanding large equipment, and are still in the process of bringing some equipment online.
While much of the equipment here is larger, they also have a great collection of hand power tools and have added sewing machines as well, and are hoping to expand membership interested in fabric related making.
Thanks again to the folks at Inventors Forge for taking time to show us around, talking about your successes and struggles and having a great vision to continue to grow the maker community.