Makerspace Greenville, a non-profit community workshop and creative laboratory where people can – for a small monthly fee – use high tech machines like 3D printers and laser cutters for their projects, is in the process of expanding at its location into the former Habitat for Humanity Restore/Fuller Center for Housing thrift store that is adjacent to the shop.
To make room for more tools for the makerspace, the volunteers who run it are selling remaining thrift store items at “garage sale pricing,” meaning that customers are welcome to haggle toward an agreeable price.
“We’ll also be making and selling crafts from the makerspace and using the laser cutter to engrave things that people buy from the thrift store,” said Gabriel Medina, the president of Makerspace Greenville.
As the workshop expands, Medina hopes to attract more professionals from the community to volunteer their time to both the improvement of the makerspace and to teach trade skills to interested members.
For example, some of the most pressing current needs for the shop include electrical work and the installation of a heating and air conditioning system, but Medina and his collaborators are also seeking volunteers to teach those skills to makerspace members.
“We’re wanting to be a place where people who are unemployed, or retirees, or people who just want to learn something new can learn new skills,” Medina said.
“We’re also hoping that some of the professionals who come to teach here will use their classes to find potential new employees,” he added.
Makerspace Greenville also allows its members to use the workshop – located at 3015 Lee Street – as a business address, if they need to use some of the shop’s equipment to make items to sell in their own business ventures.
Currently, the monthly fee for becoming a member of Makerspace Greenville is $20, but will increase to $50 per month in the near future. However, the fee for members who join before the increase will be grandfathered at $20, Medina told the Herald-Banner.
“Some of our members are doing some really cool things,” Medina said. “We have a kid who’s working on building a plane. He’s 17 years old and he’s homeschooled, and he’s so far been using our 3D printer to make some of the parts. He is also going to be using our compound miter saw, electronics testing tool kit and welder as he continues with his project.”
Medina, a disabled veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, started building 3D printers in his backyard at his home in Miami in 2014.
Soon after moving to Greenville in 2017, a friend encouraged him to visit Dallas Makerspace. Inspired by what he saw there, he started the first incarnation of Makerspace Greenville in his living room. Five of the 3D printers he and a group of friends and family made during that time were distributed to charities throughout the world, with three making it to India and one to Nigeria.
Makerspace Greenville is at 3015 Lee Street and its summer hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. until the weather cools down or the shop gets air conditioning installed.
Those with questions about the makerspace or who are interested in sponsoring the non-profit workshop/laboratory, either financially or by donating tools or materials, can call them at 903-259-9276.