HackSpace magazine

Space of the Month: Makerspace Hull

By Andrew Gregory. Posted

Each month we shine the spotlight on a different makerspace. This month we caught up with Makerspace Hull.

"It’s a bit of a cliché to say that you want your space to be for everyone, but being part of a library, it’s really true – we’re quite publicly visible and accessible, so we can, and do, get all types of people walking through the door.

“We want to provide an environment where people can feel comfortable coming to just explore and have a play without necessarily having a ‘project’ to work on. Again, it’s that library thing of wanting it to be a really friendly space which is genuinely open to all.

“There’s a real mix of members from artists looking into new techniques and new ways of getting their work out there, to your more traditional makerspace hacker, and lots in between. Recently, we’ve had members laser-cutting things like earrings to sell on their market stall, and lino blocks for their artwork. 3D printing for cosplay and tabletop gaming seem
to be really popular uses of the space as well.

These lino prints were made by Sean Azzopardi, who’s a member of Makerspace Hull (image credit: Sean Azzopardi)

“Funding was secured from Arts Council England to set up the space, with additional money from the James Reckitt Library Trust. Part of the original aim was to capitalise on the enthusiasm generated by Hull being the UK City of Culture 2017, and give people the opportunity to develop their skills and have access to new technologies.

Yes, it’s in a library – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t laser cutters and 3D printers to play with

"We’ve been open just over six months now, so it still feels fairly new, and we’re learning as we go, but it feels a very exciting thing to be a part of.

“In terms of gear, we’ve got a laser cutter, two 3D printers, a large format printer, a digital cutter, a dye sublimation printer with heat press, a digital embroidery machine, as well as all the usual hand and power tools, soldering irons, and lots of electronics stuff like Arduino starter kits. There is also a suite of computers with programs such as Fusion 360 and the full Adobe package installed which help people go from idea, through design, to fabrication under one roof.

“The 3D printers are in fact built in the area, and it’s really important to us to try and use local companies and suppliers wherever we can. There are plans to expand in the near future with a dedicated room for a CNC machine and also a woodworking room, which is something a lot of the members have been requesting.

Metalworking Workshop

“Anyone over the age of 16 can become a member for a small monthly fee – we really try and keep the costs low to reduce barriers to entry as much as possible.

“The best way to find out more is just to pop in and have a chat when we’re open; there’ll always be staff on hand to show you around and help get you started on whatever creative journey you want to embark on.

Family Maker Day

“Workshops are a big part of what we offer, including lots of ‘Introduction to...’ style ones in subjects like Arduino, 3D printing, and laser cutting to help people get started. We’ve also started running ‘Family Maker Days’ to get younger people exploring their creativity in the space with a series of taster activities, and these have proved very popular, so much so that we’re looking at doing something similar with adults in the near future.

Family Maker Day

“Outreach work is something we want to do a lot more in the future, getting out to schools, community centres and the like to spread the word and create a community of makers across the city.”

Let Us Know About Your Makerspace

We’d love you to get in touch to showcase your makerspace and the things you’re making. Drop us a line on Twitter @HackSpaceMag, or email us at [email protected] raspberrypi.org with an outline of what makes your hackspace special, and we’ll take it from there.