Founded by TAC Rockford | Transatlantic Connection, Inc., Rockford MakerSpace is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community workshop and laboratory. The space is an environment for tinkerers, artists, engineers, designers, machinists, hobbyists, programmers, makers, and thinkers to collaborate and have access to tools and learning opportunities to pursue their interests.
The space is for…
…tinkerers and builders who would love to have a shop at home, but for lack of space can’t set something up in the apartment, condo, etc. where they live.
…inventors, entrepreneurs, and start-ups who need to develop and prototype their ideas.
…artists who need access to specialized equipment and instruction on how to build their vision.
…educators who want to learn about and incorporate STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) into their curriculum.
…small businesses that need access to equipment for new product development or other occasional needs.
…retirees looking for a place to take their hobby to the next level — or looking for a new hobby.
…those who want to learn about and explore the intersection of technology, manufacturing, and the arts.
…hobbyists to learn from and collaborate with others who have similar interests (robotics, model building, glass blowing, woodworking… any creative pursuit).
…individuals interested in learning new technical and manufacturing skills to make themselves more marketable in today’s job market.
Benefits to the community
- Get people interested and active in manufacturing and technology careers
- Provide tools to tinkerers of all ages that they might not normally have access to
- Provide the tools and skills to anyone who wants to make sophisticated and neat things
- Facilitate development of products that could develop into new companies in our region
- Provide a collaborative environment to train for sought-after workplace skills
Classes and workshops on how to safely use tools and equipment is a key component of the space. They will typically be geared to bringing quickly bringing a complete novice up to speed. Classes will typically be member-organized and taught, meaning the limitation is only the know-how and interests of the membership. Possible classes include: basic woodworking, e-textiles, blacksmithing, programming, welding, soldering, machining, 3d CAD, pottery, etc.
To help keep costs low, the space is member-driven. In addition to paying dues, members are expected to donate their time to help maintain the facility and equipment, teach other members skills they have mastered, and to participate in educational outreach to the greater Rockford community. A fundamental goal is to make learning opportunities and membership accessible to everyone, regardless of financial means.
To realize the goals of having space available to everyone and to have the resources to actively pursue STEAM educational outreach in the community, the space will also seek donations and grants from community businesses and organizations to help defray equipment and operating costs.