The other day I toured Go Create, a hobby shop for inventers that has just opened on the Innovation Campus of Wichita State University. I call it a hobby shop, but they call it a "makerspace". The space includes several workshops, each of which contains machines and workstations the worth of which is in the millions of dollars. Surprised, I was, that the first workshop through which we were escorted was a textile shop - and - the first machine was an industrial long-arm quilting machine. Who would have thought? The machine could handle textiles up to 14 feet wide.
Also in the textile room were a serger, a couple of embroidery machines, a machine that would sew leather, and several other machines that I don't recall. Work tables were yet to come with the envisioned layout being as in the graphic, below.
Of course, of even more interest to me was the metalworking shop with the envisioned layout being as in the next graphic. Most of the equipment was in place but not all.
There are also workshops for wood, finishing, electronics, 3-D print/scan, design (lots of computer power and networking capabilities), glass & plastic, and machining with the largest robotic set-up I've ever seen. There was a gang of four autonomous robotic machines that had a sensor network allowing each one to slow down and/or stop when they approached one another or when a human approached (stopped when human was within 10 inches). There are "office/work" spaces available for rent by-the-month ($90 or $100, depending upon size) and the basic fee for using Go Create is $125/month. Some activities require an added fee (water-jet use includes a fee for the garnet abrasive material).
They don't know I'm doing this, and I get nothing in return; but, I thought that you might find the posted FAQs from the Go Create website interesting:
What is GoCreate?
GoCreate is a makerspace where members are welcome to bring their ideas and work on their projects. GoCreate provides space, tools, materials, knowledge, and helping hands.
What's in GoCreate?
GoCreate has an evolving inventory of equipment, tools and materials that make it possible to make (almost) anything.
What does GoCreate provide?
We mentor, train and develop. We maintain the machines, materials and spaces. Together, we keep the place clean. And together, we keep you safe.
Who can use GoCreate?
GoCreate is open to anybody: all ages, all experience levels. All you have to do is be a member who has completed the required safety and equipment training.
Who owns GoCreate inventions?
You think it and make it, it’s yours. Designs and products developed and produced here can be protected and sold however you choose.
How can businesses use GoCreate?
Commercial activities can be prototyped and incubated in GoCreate, but they should grow beyond rather than within the lab. If you make it big – and we hope that you do – you can’t make it here. GoCreate can be your stepping stone – but the space is not designed for mass production.
What if I can't afford it?
GoCreate is committed to providing access to anyone with a dream. We offer assistance to those who need it most - people with big ideas and an even bigger will to make it happen.
Koch Industries and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation donated $3.75 million to provide membership and training assistance to qualifying applicants, as well as support for mentor fellowships.
Membership assistance cover monthly membership and training fees for a six-month period, and may be extended for an additional six months.
Kudos to those who were savvy enough to figure out that I've been AFK for about three weeks - with the blog rolling merrily along on autopilot. Three things conspired to produce what readers saw: My blog service expired (my credit card number had changed and I hadn't updated the info for TypePad), I was very, very, very busy with volunteer work (my butt and sciatic joint are giving me fits from sitting, pounding on the keyboard so much), and it is Women's History Month. Thus, I left a slew of "wise" quotes of women.
We held a disaster training institute in Salina KS. Originally, we had 150 people signed up to take from 1 to 11 of the 34 sessions that were offered. Unfortunately, Kansas was hit with multiple wildfires a few days before the institute started. The fires included the largest, single wildfire in the history of the state. Translation: many of the people who had signed up to teach or take classes at the institute had to withdraw in order to serve on the disaster relief operation. That did not keep me from being busy. I spent much time preparing for the institute. Having taken my laptop with me, I spent 12-hour days sitting over it for three days - not to mention the time spent sitting in my car driving up and back. (Hunky Husband was to have taught a two-day class, but so many of his students had to drop out that we cancelled the class; thus, he did not go.) Back at home, I had to finish crediting everyone with the training they had taken and get a report put together on our event.
In the end, we had 24 instructors, 110 students (filling a total of 493 seats in classes), and a handful of support staff in attendance.
As I recall, winds gusted into the 70s (miles/hour) during a couple of days of the fires. It was reported that about 2000 firefighters worked the blazes in about 23 counties (Kansas comprises 105 counties). In Kansas (Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado had wildfires at the same time) thousands of cattle were lost, somewhat fewer than 100 structures were destroyed, and one person died as a result of the fires. The one death in Kansas was a semi-trailer truck driver who drove into smoke that covered a highway, tried to back out of the smoke, jack-knifed the tractor/trailer, and was overcome by the smoke when he exited his cab. A few cars plowed into the jack-knifed tractor/trailer, but occupants received minor injuries. Five died in Texas.
Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/nation-world/article137117388.html#storylink=cpy