Makerspaces are typically managed by volunteers with very limited budgets. They use spreadsheets and shared calendars to manage membership, comms, bookings and payments - which are ill-suited to the job.
Members of Makerspaces have no easy way to connect with other Makers outside their own space nor to discover and access people, resources, skills and machines in other locations to help them with their projects.
Companies & NGOs are actively trying to connect with the Maker community for learning, open innovation, recruitment and redistributed manufacturing. They lack an easy way to do this both locally and globally.
By providing a suite of free tools for Makerspaces to manage memberships, machines, and money, MakerNet solves a real problem for Makerspace managers & improves the experience of their members. Our tools connect spaces into the MakerNet community, making their members and inventory discoverable.
As we connect spaces into our network, the MakerNet database becomes the global inventory of the skills & training of the world’s Makers and of the capacities and equipment of the world’s Makerspaces.
Maker Passports - We all know that many of the tools we use as makers are often expensive and dangerous if used improperly, so it makes sense that every Makerspace requires safety classes or some level of professional certification to start using them. However, right now there's no way to take those permissions with you if you change spaces, even just for a day.
As you use MakerNet to schedule the tools you use and track your active projects, it builds a profile for you with all the hours you've logged on each machine, the classes you've taken, professional certs, and so on. With this, your profile can become a true Maker Passport, a verifiable record of your experience and skill within the global Maker community.
Redistributed Manufacturing - One of the key challenges faced by Makers and Makerspaces right now is financial viability. There is no clear, well defined pathway from entering a Makerspace for the first time through to paying work with the skills you develop while you're there. And because of this, there's little money to pay Makerspaces their membership dues.
What if fabrication and tradecraft jobs could be intelligently routed to makers the way that ride requests are routed to Lyft drivers? What if you could see what kinds of Maker skills are in demand, and where to get training in those skills, which would then become a part of your Maker Passport?
Our vision for MakerNet is to connect people to the tools and training to become Makers, and to connect Makers with the people who need their skills. We see this as the most viable path forward for all of us in the Maker community.
Who is part of MakerNet?
While the digital platform has been in development, we've been hard at work building our analog network around the world. We know that this is a well understood problem in the Maker world, and there are a lot of folks working in similar or adjacent domains. Here's some of the amazing folks we're working with to bring MakerNet to life.
Nation of Makers - A nonprofit organization dedicated to helping makers by supporting maker organizations; through advocacy, the sharing of resources and the building of community within the maker movement and beyond.
Global Innovation Gathering - Global Innovation Gathering (GIG) is a vibrant, diverse community of innovation hubs, makerspaces, hackerspaces and other grassroots innovation community spaces and initiatives as well as individual innovators, makers, technologists and changemakers. GIG is pursuing a new vision for global cooperation based on equality, openness and sharing. We aim to enable more diversity in the production of technology, and global innovation processes and support open and sustainable solutions developed by grassroot innovators.
Gearbox - Gearbox is an initiative that aims at improving the ecosystem for hardware entrepreneurship by providing flexible working space, shared prototyping facilities, training in manufacturing, fabrication and design as well as mentorship, investment opportunities, incubation and community development.
Ananse Group - We’re an international consulting team devoted to open-source values and developing sustainable, grassroots infrastructure. We are compiling the most complete and up to date map of makerspaces, fab labs, innovation hubs and micro-factories in the world!
Field Ready - We meet humanitarian need by transforming logistics through technology, design and engaging people in new ways. We make useful items to solve problems locally in various sectors such as health, water and sanitation. We do this by using the latest technology including 3D printers and laser cutters as well as traditional manufacturing machines. We pass on these skills to others through training and pioneering innovative approaches to the toughest challenges. The impact of this is dramatically improved efficiency in aid delivery by quickly meeting needs and cutting procurement costs.
MADE BCN - MADE is a flexible space created for artists, designers, inventors, entrepreneurs, creators, engineers, makers, manufacturers and hackers to develop their own projects. It is organized to facilitate the development of an open community of distributed learning, co-production and entrepreneurship activities.
Make Nashville - We are a collective of creative, geeky, artistic, innovative, fun and welcoming people who love to make things and have a great time doing it. Make Nashville is a member-led organization that was founded in 2012 and became a registered federal 501c3 nonprofit in 2015. Our Mission is to provide the community, training, tools, and opportunity for everyone to experience the transformative experience of making. We want to help more people make, and to help makers make more.
Colorado Maker Hub - The mission of the Colorado Maker Hub, an educational nonprofit 501c3 organization, is to foster maker innovation, creating a thriving, sustainable future. We do this by advancing and connecting Colorado makers – a vibrant community of tinkerers, tech enthusiasts, artists, educators, youth makers, inventors, hobbyists, science clubs, students and entrepreneurs – through events, education and online collaboration.
MakerTour - MakerTour is a lighthouse in the fog of the labs movement. We launch world expeditions towards the initiatives and actors diversity and share all the content produced on this very website. Whether you are a passionated maker, a fablab, a collaborative workshop, a small or a big company, an school, a non-profit organization, welcome aboard!
How it all fits together
Interested in working together or finding out more about what we're doing?
The maker network