Building the DAI Makerspace

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The DAI Makerspace relies on voluntary work and engagement in order to remain free and open to all. We have been very lucky so far with generous support from the DAI, the Berlin US Embassy, local companies CourseResource and UniCoFil, SRH Gründer-Institut, and many individual contributors! If you would like to help making the place even better, this page can serve as a guideline to what is needed and who to talk to about a certain topic.

The Story So Far[edit | edit source]

Makerspace v0.5 (alpha)[edit | edit source]

The DAI Makerspace started out as a mere idea in late 2014 and became real with the purchase of an Ultimaker² by the DAI Library. Niamh, the head of the library, started organizing monthly "Makers Meetups" and had a grand vision for the Makerspace right from the beginning. It was also her who made our move to the basement possible, which was a much needed step towards more self-organization and further expansion.

The first rules, printing instructions and a makeshift calendar were made up by Lukas on a highly professional website on a shared "Google Sheet".

Makerspace v0.9 (open beta)[edit | edit source]

During the summer of 2015, Ciaran and Lukas built four additional 3D printers which were donated by Ciaran's company Course Resource for a refugee workshop and the blind school project. Once finished, these machines greatly increased the usability of the Makerspace and got us thinking how much else we could achieve if we had a little more space!

We moved from the library into a storage room in the basement which would later become the 3D printer farm.

Meetings continued to be held once a month and were co-organized by Niamh and Akisa until they both had to go later that year.

Makerspace v1.0rc1[edit | edit source]

In late 2015, Ciaran and Lukas met frequently to develop a new concept for the Makerspace after the original organizers had left. Lukas started supervising Weekly Making Hours in 2016 and took over as main organizer, and we were able to encourage many more Makers to become involved in clearing and renovating additional basement rooms like the main room and the workshop.

With generous grants from the DAI and the US Embassy and many smaller donations, we were able to purchase a rudimentary set of hand and power tools as well as basic equipment for the e.Bench, the "sound studio" and photography.

Makerspace v1.1[edit | edit source]

During further extensions/renovations in 2016 that would enable us to add the Stepcraft CNC mill and our laser cutter, Mitja and Patrick put in lots of work and got involved as co-organizers.

Besides all the work in the room and the new hardware, Mitja and Lukas conceived this wiki and several members of the community started writing content so it will eventually be the source of wisdom and inspiration for just about everything related to making in and around Heidelberg.

Starting in March 2016, the regular opening times of the Makerspace were extended by a Sewing Café on Tuesday afternoons.

Makerspace v1.2[edit | edit source]

Beginning in summer 2016, the laser cutter was added and is now fully operational and commissioned (air duct, filter, overheating issue, settings repository). This marked the last expansion into previously unused rooms of the DAI basement.


<Makerspace v1.3 ? members/membership, wiki move to a new server and electronic lock>

Donations[edit | edit source]

The main goal is to keep the DAI Makerspace free and open to everyone. Since everything we consume needs to be replaced at some point, please consider to put an appropriate donation into the corresponding box. There are material boxes for all the different areas in the Makerspace so that we can see where the highest demand lies: for example, if lots of money is put into the 3D printing box, we buy more materials and colors, upgrade parts, and maybe even additional 3D printers.

Funds from the general donation box are used for whatever is most urgent on the Shopping List. If you would like to donate for a specific project, please talk to the organization team or the project coordinator!

Another nice way of contributing with small amounts is to buy snacks for the "Candy Shop" - other Makers will enjoy them and leave small donations which are usually a bit higher than the original cost of the food, thus multiplying the donation.

We are always in need of materials like fabric, adhesives, paints or scrap wood - please remember us when you clear out your basement the next time ;-)

Hold a Workshop[edit | edit source]

What is your area of expertise? We are always interested in topics and instructors for workshops!

Improve the Room[edit | edit source]

A lot has happened already since we took over the DAI's basement, for example we emptied and painted the workshop in February 2016, improved storage, built a large workbench and equipped an electronics bench.

Any other ideas? Please let us know! We are organizing tasks as issues on Github. Feel free to join and work on a task, just make sure to keep everyone posted in the corresponding issue.

Constructing jigs and self-made tools for everyone to share is another great way to contribute.

Voice Your Ideas[edit | edit source]