Maker clubs, also called hacker or inventor clubs, are rising in popularity as technology like 3-D printers becomes more accessible. Finding space for your club can be as simple as a visit to a neighborhood self-storage facility. These can provide the perfect maker space with a little help from the following tips.

Unit Specifics

The right unit is the key to a successful maker space. Consider the following before choosing your unit:

  • Electrical access. This is the most important aspect, for obvious reasons. Not all storage units have electrical sockets, or allow ongoing access to said electricity if they do. Look for a facility that rents band practice spaces or provides spaces for business use, since these are more likely to provide and allow electrical use.

  • Go for climate control. Most maker spaces have technological equipment, such as computers, inside, which perform better when they aren't exposed to extreme heat or cold. You also want the makers to be comfortable with the climate when they are creating.

  • Size matters. Size is really use-specific, depending on the amount of people you expect in the space at any one time, and how many maker stations you will have. Avoid the smallest units, which typically measure 5-by-5 feet and are no larger than a walk-in closet. As a general guideline, a 5-by-15 foot space is comparable to a small bedroom, while a 10-by-10 space is the size of a living room. For example, if your group can work comfortably in a bedroom, you can opt for the smaller of these spaces.

Creating Work Stations

Once you have the space, you need to set it up for maximum usage. Begin by covering the floor with tarps or paper. Creating can be messy, and you don't want to damage the unit.

Next, bring in your tables. Folding tables are ideal, since you can reconfigure them or put them away as needed. Each table should be equipped with a power strip/surge protector combination, storage drawers, and tool trays. These are general stations for your club members to set up as needed for their current project.

Finally, arrange specific work stations, such as a 3-D printing table or a soldering station. These stations will have all the tools and safety equipment necessary for completing these specific projects. You can then store extra supplies and equipment on shelves or in drawers along a back wall.

Security Concerns

Security is your last concern. Make sure the facility is monitored and has strictly controlled access. You will also want to supply your own lock. It's also safest to limit club member access to codes and keys to only a few people, such as the club officers or committee members. For further peace of mind, take out insurance on the storage unit's contents in case theft or a disaster does occur.

For more information, contact Canada Storage Station Self Storage or a similar company.

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