Makerspace visit: DSpace

dspace-outsideI was in Dunedin recently and Ian and Paul from DSpace in Dunedin were kind enough to show me through their space and to talk to me about some of the projects that are happening there.

They share their space with a range of different community groups in the North East Valley in Dunedin, and the first thing that struck me was how BIG their space is: it’s actually an old workshop and has a series of large spaces that are used for different things, but they’re really lucky to have so much space at their disposal!

dspace-electric-carThere’s a full-on hoist for working on cars including the project shown in the photo to the right, which is a conversion to from petrol to electric. The electric tuktuk looks just as interesting.

dspace-bike-workshopIn the same space is a bike workshop where old bikes are fixed up and restored. I’m sure more than one of these discarded bikes were discarded by Otago students leaving at the end of their study. The cool thing about what DSpace is doing is that they’re all now potentially new(-ish) bikes for new Otago students arriving as they begin their studies.

dspace-reworkThere are some pretty amazing electronics projects going on at DSpace with both Paul and Ian talking about the workshops they run to help people design and then have built their own circuit boards. The SMD rework station and surrounding components show that this space is well-used. Paul has been prototyping circuit boards for robots and kits of various sizes to teach people to solder and about electronics, and is planning to return to China soon to oversee the production of some of his projects.

dspace-3d-printers3D printing is also big at DSpace with the team printing a lot of parts for Prusa Repraps, and in the spirit of Repraps, giving them away to people on the condition that they build a printer then print two copies of the plastic pieces and give them away to pay it forward.