2009-05-14

Workshop for people who want to build stuff.

I have been toying with the idea of setting up a workshop where I can fiddle around with electronics, build stuff and meet other people whom I can learn from and collaborate with. The basic idea is to rent a place where you can set up work areas, where you can keep equipment and components and half-finished projects. Perhaps have a selection of standard electronic components (breadboards, resistors, capacitors, LEDs, transistors, microcontrollers, servos etc) that you need to build stuff.

Over the past couple of weeks I have exposed several colleagues and friends to the idea and I think I know at least 5-6 people who would like to have a place like that. I think the main problem is to find a good location at a reasonable price not too far from downtown Trondheim.

A membership model with some annual dues would probably be the way to go, but I suspect that it might not raise enough money to get us the sort of facilities we would like.

One Possibility is to look for corporate sponsors. There are several companies in town that one might be able to interest in this. Companies like Atmel, ARM, QFree etc. that might be interested in fostering an environment where people can meet to tinker, play with technology and build stuff. There's also a bunch of less known companies that do robotics and misc electronics here in Trondheim.

If you live in Trondheim and would like to do something like this: drop me a line in the comments.

14 comments:

  1. Count me in...

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  2. Although I think a better way to start might be to start small. A kitchen table and a few people getting together might be a good seed. And it will be easier to recruit other people with some interesting projects to show.

    Using _space_ at a company or the university might be an easy way to get started.

    You couldn't do the larger projects that require big machines right away, but some electronics and other projects should be easily do-able.

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  3. Oh yeah - count me in. Provided you ;

    a) Help me set up a string of dummy corporations and a fake business front, to keep my wife thinking I might be working and therefore doing something useful.

    and

    b) bring beer and try not to laugh at me whenever I burn myself with the soldering iron.

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  4. We've done something similar for cars. Me and some fellow car enthusiasts have rented a barn where we can work on ~10 cars and where we can keep our tools and equipment. The problem with that is that it is too far outside the city so if you want to work on a car you need to set aside at least 5-6 hours to get anything done. Also the facilities aren't great. The layout sucks and in the winter it is a bit too cold.

    But yeah, just getting started with some projects and pooling some tools, components and equipment would be a good start.

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  5. CharlesErik: I'll be happy to bring the beer. However I reserve the right to not only laugh, but point and laugh if you manage to burn yourself :-)

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  6. Umm... no need to point and laugh. That's what youtube is for!

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  7. *big* thumbs up :-)

    Starting with just a few members/tinkerers is probably the easiest.

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  8. Yes, yes, yes! I have a surplus of tools to contribute as well :)

    The first step would have to be finding a place. The cheapest option would be to recruit someone with a spare room in their basement. I have no basement so don't look at me :-)

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  9. I'm definetly interested. I have been toying with the idea of buying an entry level laser cutter myself, and setting up a "print/cut on demand" webshop to try and finance part of the investment.

    Other items on my wish-but-probably-won't-buy-myself-in-the-near-future-stuff-list are
    a) lathe, and
    b) a milling machine for metalwork
    c) vacuum equipment

    I suspect that a lot of the necessary equipment can be obtained second hand.

    The Epilog Zing costs about 8KUSD. (Or just below 100K from the norwegian distributor)

    Hans Jørgen
    (www.timeexpander.com)

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  10. My workshop is located on top of my washing machine. Not much room for heavy equipment. But i'm able to do most of electronic work there but I would also be interested in such a place dependent on the cost of rental.

    ( http://hallgeirsr2d2.blogspot.com/)

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  11. Great idea. Count me in! My latest project: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulrene/sets/72157612208754535/

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  12. I'm in! Talked a little about it on Twitter a while back. I have lots of space for different projects, but the kids run around everywhere, so not suitable for electronics. Easy to loose small parts.

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  13. Oh, and I am also a fan of trying it out in a private home until one finds something cooler. I can volunteer mine for the first one, just have to throw out the family for the night. And it is in Hommelvik, so it is a distance to drive (20 km). All that is needed is large table or two, electricity and wlan (can't do electronics without consulting google!) :)

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=no&q=Hesttr%C3%B8a+7,+7550+Malvik,+Norge&sll=63.43463,10.398455&sspn=0.31752,1.149445&ie=UTF8&cd=1&geocode=FSCnxwMdbW6kAA&split=0&ll=63.416576,10.776172&spn=0.009929,0.03592&z=15&iwloc=A

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