Rapid prototyping. Welding. Woodworking. Crafting.
Newly-relocated Langley firm Maker Cube wants to put the tools for all of those projects in the hands of anyone, regardless of their starting skill level.
The new firm held its grand opening in Langley City’s industrial area on Saturday, welcoming people with tours and free hot dogs.
“We’re trying to build a community,” said Adam Ali, a director and co-founder of the company. The firm, started by some SFU students, had to move from Surrey because they needed more space.
Maker Cube is a co-working space for people who want to use tools ranging from table saws to welding gear to 3D printers, but don’t have the space or funds for those devices at home.
Doug Chan, another co-founder, noted that the ability to do accelerated prototyping and even make circuits from scratch for different products can help new businesses cut down on the cost of creating their products.
Members can set up small workshops of their own in the building, leasing small areas and using the common facilities. They can also pick up ideas and tips from their fellow residents.
Maker Cube will also offer classes and safety training on their equipment for the general public. Ali said one recent visitor was a young man moving out who wanted to build his own furniture, and started learning woodworking for the first time.
A co-working space can be a platform for starting a new small business, without having to invest heavily in tools, Ali said.
Maker culture is largely a rejection of a world in which everything, from furniture to electronics, is disposable, he said.
“People are fed up with it,” said Ali. “And they want a better way.”
Maker Cube practices what it preaches – the front desk was made from reclaimed scrap lumber, and the computer lab upstairs, where training in 2D and 3D design and modeling will take place, was built from e-waste and scrapped computers upgraded with a few new components. The computer lab of a dozen machines cost less than $1,000, Ali said.