New & Reviewed

Maker Hub

First Hand Experience

Rob Bell

Issue 24, July 2019

I visited Maker Hub to see if it will live up to the hype. I have to say, I’m more excited than ever by what it offers! Let me tell you why.

It's like a regular Jaycar store and a Maker Space had a baby!

I had an opportunity to visit the amazing new Maker Hub, the concept which Jaycar have just launched on Broadway, right on the footsteps of University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

We had read about the idea of the Maker Hub when we saw the 2019 Jaycar catalogue. We were excited with the idea, but really only had a few words and pics about the idea to go from. As of now, Maker Hub is real and live, and you can go see it for yourself!

Upon arriving at Maker Hub, I am awestruck. I actually need a minute to take it all in. This is not the regular Jaycar I had come to know and love! This is an entirely different experience.

There is something about the energy inside Maker Hub which fires up my passion for technology, yet it doesn’t have the blood-pressure inducing nature of traditional retail. This is an experience! While I love my local Jaycar stores, Maker Hub has a VERY different feel indeed.

An array of 3D printers and related hardware can be utilised at Maker Hub.
Collaborative maker area, including digital whiteboard.

As soon as I walked through the huge storefront, I’m instantly greeted with a display of robotics kits and 3D printers. This really sets the tone for my Maker Hub experience, as I’m excited by the dual filament printer, 3-in-1 XYZ machine, and several robotic arms, which are all interactive (wherever practical, that is).

As the helpful Maker Hub team glide around the space with 3D prints and other fun items in hand, you can tell they’re here for the same reasons - the passion for DIY. While there’s more upfront, I find myself gazing down an extra wide aisle.

Maker Hub, as the name suggests, provides so much more than a way to purchase an Arduino. There is space... space everywhere, for makers to come and collaborate or work. I was blown away by the amount of space dedicated to this function, which is a testament to Jaycar’s dedication to supporting Makers in their endeavours. Details will be coming soon on just how people can make use of the dedicated Maker areas and workbenches. There are 3D printers, a PCB mill, CNC router, laser cutter, and other facilities which can be used by makers too! This will also be the site of a slew of workshops, which are also running in traditional Jaycar stores too.

I’m not sure what it is about Maker Hub, but it has a very different energy to other retail experiences. It’s like a regular Jaycar store and a Maker Space had a baby, and that baby has stunning genetics! Whether it’s the warm timber used throughout, which gives it a somewhat organic workshop feel, or the abundant natural light and greenery afforded by the building it’s in, it is really something to behold. It’s the sort of space I could see the next Nest product idea being developed, yet equally as inviting for a young gun beginning their Arduino journey.

This is a space for Makers to get comfortable in.

Interestingly, after my third or fourth lap of Maker Hub, I found that inside was more than just the hobby products I was initially drawn to. This was in fact, still a Jaycar experience - just the next generation of Jaycar experience. As my attention diverted I noticed a huge wall of HDMI and USB leads, opposed with surveillance equipment, WiFi routers, and everything else you’d expect to find in a traditional Jaycar store. This, I feel, was an important part of the experience - still being able to find a USB Type-C to USB Micro-B cable, or whatever obscure item you needed to make your technology work together. After all, this is a large part of what Jaycar is well known for.

Maker Hub is a testament to the support Jaycar is providing the Maker Movement. I applaud their efforts for an amazingly well-built and well-executed experience.

You can find it on Level 1 of Central Park Mall, 28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW. We sincerely hope that their new concept store is a success, and there are more rapidly deployed around the country.