What do you do if you come up with the next big idea, but don’t have the tools to make your vision a reality? You can visit Make Salt Lake and use a warehouse full of tools to bring your new design to life.
Make Salt Lake is a makerspace, a DIY environment where people can gather to create, invent and learn. According to Jesse Gomez, one of Make Salt Lake’s members, makerspaces started as part of federally funded MIT outreach project led by Neil Gershenfeld. The original idea was to take “fabrication laboratories” or fablabs, to third world countries providing high tech tools where they are unavailable. After Gershenfeld’s Ted talk fablabs and makerspaces started to spring up everywhere.
Kelly Anderson, another member, says that the main focus of Make Salt Lake is “to assist people in building prototypes.” To that end the space has woodworking equipment, a laser cutter, a CNC router, a vacuum form, and a new 3D printer. Members donate and share surplus supplies for others to use along with sharing personal expertise.
New members can join Make Salt Lake for $50 a month on a month to month basis. Besides expertise and tools they also offer casual meetups and classes on everything from woodworking to knitting. Anderson says, “We’re a community of people working together to build real world projects.”
One of the ideas behind Make Salt Lake is to come up with products that can they be manufactured. Gomez sees a lack of manufacturing in the United States and would like to see a return to a manufacturing economy. The space works with a startup mentality of minimum viable product or what is the minimum needed to start a project. It is a place to work out the bugs and come up with a working model that can be manufactured.
Gomez sums it up, “It’s the community that makes it work – sharing ideas and expertise.”
Make Salt Lake is located at 3425 S. Main SLC
Call 801 872-4294 for more information
Story by Connie Lewis