Hackerspaces are community workshops with the tooling, equipment and community for all kinds of maker projects. With over 20 Hackerspaces Australia-wide, you’re likely to find one near you.
We were recently contacted by Steph Piper, a Current Patron of the Brisbane Hackerspace, which is the largest of its kind in Australia. We admire what hackerspaces, makerspaces and other similar community maker workshops do, so we welcomed the following photos and article from Steph and her Ballarat Hackerspace counterpart, Brett James.
Walk into the Brisbane Hackerspace (HSBNE Inc.) on a Tuesday open night and you’ll find a hive of activity. Someone is probably outside showing off a new electric skateboard/scooter/bike, while inside people work on projects from LEDs to RFID, or repairing or upgrading equipment.
New visitors are encouraged to try the vending machine that dispenses truly ‘random’ cans, where you might receive a Dr. Pepper or a can of instant oatmeal. Members can set their own theme songs to play when they swipe in, which plays on every phone in every room, creating a unique soundscape amongst the whir of equipment. HSBNE attracts all kinds of curious people, from the likes of engineering students finishing off an assignment, startups and entrepreneurs, DIY enthusiasts, cosplayers, learners and experienced. This mixing pot means that it is hard to walk away from the space without learning something new.
Hackerspace Brisbane (HSBNE) is Australia’s largest and most established hackerspace, open 24/7 for members. Equipment for 3D printing, laser cutting, electronics, cosplay, craft, woodworking, metalworking, welding, blacksmithing, forging and silversmithing is available. Located in Eagle Farm, it’s a few hundred metres away from the Northshore Hamilton ferry terminal.
West Coast Makers
South West Makers
New South Wales:
Robots and Dinosaurs
Connected Community Hackerspace (HackMelbourne)
Melbourne Eastern Suburbs Hackers (MESH)
Projects at the Brisbane Hackerspace have included giant, burnable effigies for the Modifyre (Burning Man style) camp, a tiny house project, arcade machine restoration, power walls, coffee tables and more.
“One of my favourite projects to watch come together has been the Popcorn Vending machine. It’s required a whole lot of reverse engineering, treasure hunting for parts, and even making contact with the original inventor of the machine. 10/10 tasty project”
Meanwhile, at CCHS, or HackMelbourne, you might come across their new #saucebot, a repurposed 3D printer now dedicated to the art of dispensing tomato sauce and mustard with engineered precision on the classic sausage on bread.
The Ballarat Hackerspace has moved into a larger space and is looking forward to making use of their Laser Cutter and more 3D printers. Their custom made “Mega bot” will print up to a massive cubic metre of 3D printed plastic, needed to print a full-sized “Lightning claw” from Australia’s 6m long carnivore. The photo above is using a smaller 3D printer, which took over nine months of design and printing the many parts.
If you’re making something cool that you want to share, hit a roadblock in your invention, or just want to hang out with like-minded people, then why not seek out your local Hackerspace?