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GE Garages Pop-up Maker Space in Chicago, Sept 20-Oct 20

A new temporary maker lab has appeared in Chicago! Inventables team member Michael Una visited the GE Garages pop-up maker space and offers his review:

Entering this space is like walking into a future space egg laboratory. There's a ton of natural light, a chill lounge area with comfy mod chairs, and a living wall of plants. Oh, and pretty much every digital fabrication machine you'd ever want to make things with.


When I arrived, Inventables' Edward Ford was showing the staff how to run the big ShapeOko CNC mill he had built specially for the space. Edward's been building variations on this design for a while and it shows. This machine should work well for all the workshops and projects going on all month.



 The tools are well-placed and inviting, with lots of informative signage and ample staff to answer questions. I liked how there were lots of reference materials and example pieces on hand to show off each machine's capabilities.


I spotted a legion of these little acoustic iPhone amplifiers near the injection molding machine. The detail was perfect and it works pretty well as a functional object. Personally, I like pieces that show off the true utility of these processes and tools, and this was a perfect example.



 In addition to the digital fabrication tools, there's a full complement of hand and "traditional" tools like drill presses to add finishing touches to a project.


I'm really looking forward to the workshops getting up and running. This week, Massimo Banzi of Arduino is giving a talk, and Samantha Alaimo of Inventables is starting a series of workshops to build a specially designed lamp with Chicago Public High School students. All the programming looks amazing and it's free to the public, and is designed for people of all skill levels to get started right away.

The space is open from Sept. 20-Oct. 20 at 401 N. Michigan Ave in Chicago. Full hours and the workshop schedule can be found on the GE Garages website. The summary is Tues-Sat: 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm and Sun: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm.

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