What was the founding vision of your makerspace, and how is it supported? What facilities and skills programmes do you provide?
At MakersBox we believe we Inspire People to Innovate and Invent, you can call it that playground where you meet some like-minded people and out of the box thinkers that get your creative juices flowing. Our vision has always been to collaborate with people and offer them workspaces, with an access to a range of tools, ideas, and people. Over time we have equipped our space(s) with simple hand tools to power tools, rapid prototyping machines, digital fabrication machines such as 3D Printers and even CNC mills etc.
We have a strong community of trainers and mentors who share their skills through regular workshops, tool training, meet-ups etc. in design thinking, woodworking, CAD modeling, architecture and rapid prototyping. MakersBox is a part of the System 3 Group of companies but is run like a bootstrapped startup. We run our operations buy building partnered maker spaces (with Governments, Educational Institutes and Pop Up Maker Spaces), maker space memberships and doing sponsored projects through our ‘Maker-in-Residence’ programme and the goodwill of our ambassadors.
What’s a typical day or weekend like, in your makerspace? What kind of membership profile do you have at the moment?
Well, the fun part of being a maker space is, this is not like an office. Sometimes we are all having a lot of fun talking about various things in life, to sometimes we goto dead silence when we are working on a project. We have built a great community across our multiple Maker Spaces in Karnal, Delhi, and Noida and are working on several projects from Agriculture, to Environment and even some Entertainment Devices.
Makers work on different projects, while someone could be busy working on a craft project and etching stuff in multiple materials using the laser etcher, some are just busy building their electronic circuits.
Our members range from students in high-school making their debut as tinkerers to hexagenarians with decades of experience. But most of our members are generally those working on collaborative projects. We have a balanced male to female ratio. Artists, Doctors, Architects, Musicians, Designers, Bankers, Social Scientists and Engineers, all fit into our member profile.
Do I need to bring my own tools and materials?
We provide all basic hand tools, power tools, 3D printers and a Laser etching machine. We also keep an inventory on some of the materials that you can purchase as you need, or you can bring in your own material. Since we are a community of makers – you are more than welcome to bring in your tools that you would like to share with the community!
Will there be someone to guide me?
Yes, we love to help. You come here, we teach you how to use the equipment and then, you use it yourself. We don’t encourage hand-holding but if you get stuck, be assured that there will be someone from the community there to help you out.
What happens to a project that I build at the MakersBox?
It’s all yours. You bring the materials and you take what you build out of it home. However, if MakersBox has funded a Build Group, the project remains back at the MakersBox. Similarly, if we have paid for the materials, the project stays a part of MakersBox.
I don’t have an idea or skill, can I still join?
Yep, you are more than welcome. We suggest you come for some of our events. They will teach you some basic skills that you can practice at the space later.
What is a Build Group?
Build Groups are open community projects. Champion Makers can initiate Builds at MakersBox. These projects are open for the community to join and learn. This is a great way to get started at MakersBox – work on new exciting projects and learn from the champions during the process.
What’s a Workshop?
Workshops are conducted by trainers in the community who like to share their expertise in the field.
If you would like to host a workshop, get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s a Tool training session?
Tool training is conducted by the MakersBox team on the equipment we have. After you have passed the tool training session, you are free to use all the tools at your convenience
Who are champion makers?
They are the mentors of the MakersBox community. Reach out to them when you are stuck on a problem. They are helpful and loving only if you ask the right questions. They are the leaders of the maker movement in India!
Do I have to pay for workshops separately after becoming a member?
Yes, workshops need to be paid for separately.
Where are you located?
We are located on top of a SproutBox Suryavilas – CoWorking Space in Okhla. Our Address is D-181, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase 1, New Delhi 110020.
Do you provide 3D printing service?
Yes, we do. You can send us an STL file for 3D printing email@example.com
Where can I source material?
We usually keep enough stock of material and you can choose to buy this from us, or we can introduce you to vendors where you can buy the material from, whether this is vinyl for a vinyl cutter, to prototyping boards, shields, and even Wood for you to cut and use for your project.
What activities and support do you provide for social entrepreneurs and NGOs?
We host regular meet-ups on a range of topics, ranging from Developing Social Solutions to Crowd-funding. These provide a great platform for social entrepreneurs to network, get inspired and act on their ideas. In addition, we work closely with a lot of social entrepreneurs in their efforts at combating challenges in literacy. We also work with NGOs in providing access to their communities for free at MakersBox as part of the fellowship program, so that they may explore their latent talents and interests.
What are some ways in which large corporates and tech providers can get involved with makerspaces? How are they supporting or sponsoring you today?
While we’ve had the involvements of corporate, the scope is just beginning to diversify. Currently, we conduct workshops for corporate teams and run projects on behalf of corporate. We are also supported by OEMs and tech providers in the form of sponsored equipment.
We’d like to build more meaningful associations with corporate through being a bridge between their needs and the talent that’s available across the community. MakersBox would like to co-create curriculum through industry-academia partnerships. We would also like industry to think of maker spaces as a test bed for new ideas.