Written by: Vivian Orr, Communications and Publications Coordinator
Saskatoon Makerspace: Q&A with Devon Plett, Co-Founder
On your website you describe makerspaces as:
… places that provide creative people with access to tools & equipment and the education that is necessary to safely operate them. Saskatoon Makerspace focuses on accessibility, education and collaboration. We want to challenge the way we view consumerism by educating makers on the process of creation, while inspiring each other to transform our artistic concepts into entrepreneurial ventures.
Q: I know you travelled around visiting other makerspaces including MakerLabs in Vancouver. What did you take away from those experiences?
A: Honestly so much, they were extremely helpful and honest with my wife and I about the realities of running a space. I think the most significant thing we took away from all the spaces we visited was that you can do a lot for a community, if you are willing to work for it. Running a space is not as simple as just having machines. At Saskatoon Makerspace our focus is on both providing working tools and maintaining the space. We believe that a clean organized space with well maintained tools helps people make better things.
Q: What are your hopes for Saskatoon Makerspace? Where do you see it in 5 years or 10 years from now?
A: We’re anticipating that our membership base will expand and allowing us to move to a more spacious facility. We would like to provide an even larger tool selection as well as studio spaces. We want to focus on partnering with local businesses as well as educational facilities. Workshops and community events are important to us! The more we can be involved with current events in Saskatoon the better. For right now we want to focus on providing our makers with the best quality experience possible.
Q: What are the qualifications of your workshop instructors?
A: Our workshops will involve many local professionals. “We come together to make good things,” Is a phrase that we have grown to like as it communicates our intentions of collaboration and learning from each other. Saskatoon has a lot of talented people. Our workshops will be taught by passionate people who live and breathe what they are teaching. They will also be experienced and qualified to instruct.
Q: You have an impressive list of tools/equipment and workshop classes. I am personally looking forward to taking Laser Cutter 101.
Explain why it is required to take an orientation class such as Woodshop 101 before you can use the wood shop, or other Makerspace tools?
A: We want makers to have a positive experience in the space. All our 101 classes are primarily focused on teaching people how to use the machine in a way that they will not hurt themselves or damage the machine. Simply put the safety orientation classes are required because we want to have a space with working machines and happy makers.
Q: Will members have access to expert advice when they are at Saskatoon Makerspace? If they are feeling uncertain about calibrating the Laser Cutter or have forgotten how to replace the plastic filament on the 3D Printer, will there be someone there to help?
A: Definitely, we are all about helping our makers out. There will always be a trained and friendly staff to lend a helping hand or a piece of advice.
Drop by for a tour of Saskatoon Makerspace:
- First Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm
- 140 Avenue C South, corner of 21st Street West, Saskatoon
Thank you Devon for telling us about Saskatoon Makerspace!
If you’re interested in learning more about makerspaces, there will be an event all about them at the Saskatoon Frances Morrison Public Library on Thursday, March 30.
- At 6 pm in the Meeting Room, there will be several local exhibitors available to demonstrate the new technology and makerspaces available locally.
- At 7 pm, in the Theatre, there will be a showing of Maker: A Documentary about the Maker Movement.
- And at 8 pm, three speakers will present:
- Albert La from Saskatoon Techworks
- Erin Romanyshyn from the new Round Prairie library
- Sheila Maithel from Tailor Magic
Admission is free and coffee will be provided!