For those who want to create, there are few more valuable resources than makerspaces. If you don’t have a 3D printer of your own but still want to explore 3D design and printing, makerspaces have the resources for both experimentation and more serious projects. They aren’t all about 3D printing, either – other resources include CNC machines, laser cutters, electronics and much more. Makerspaces are a place to work individually or brainstorm with others in a collaborative environment, and often they offer more than just a space – they offer support.
Pittsburgh area residents can take advantage of all that makerspaces have to offer through a new space called Creation Labs. Founded by engineer and product developer Aaron Hartman, who describes it as a “fitness club” for the mind, Creation Labs offers equipment for creation as well as 3D printing classes and a 3D printing service.
Currently, Creation Labs is offering a pop-up space at the South Hills Village mall. The pop-up will serve as a preview of the space’s permanent location, which will follow shortly.
“We do a lot with collaboration and mentorship,” said Hartman. “Employees at our pop-up location and at the more permanent location that is opening soon, will assist and guide people to use the machines (like laser-cutters, CNC machines, waterjet-cutters) to make things.”
Pittsburgh has other makerspaces, including one at the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, but Creation Labs is geared toward adults and youths 12 and older. Memberships begin at $75 per month, but there will be a 25% discount off annual memberships for those who sign up at the pop-up location. Additional discounts will be offered for student makers. Creation Labs will also sell 3D printers and building materials.
Hartman has been working with 3D modeling for two decades, and 3D printing for more than five years. He describes himself as a lifelong maker, and is channeling his passion for making and 3D printing into Creation Labs, which will help members discover their own passions for making. Many great ideas and even businesses have been born in makerspaces, and Creation Labs will likely be no exception. It can be difficult to learn things like 3D modeling and 3D printing on your own, but with the support and lessons offered in a makerspace, one can get off to a great start.
It’s also a good idea to have separate makerspaces for young children and adults/older children. Creation Labs will cater to a more mature crowd that wants to seriously pursue their goals – or perhaps just to learn some new skills.
The Creation Labs pop-up shop will be located on the lower level of the mall, by the Macy’s and T-Mobile stores. It will most likely be at its mall location through the end of the year, at which point it will move to its more permanent location in the south hills of Pittsburgh.
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