The Columbus Idea Foundry has officially opened its doors in a brand new location – a 65,000 square ft. Makerspace in a downtown district known as Franklinton. According to COO Casey McCarty and Shop/Production Manger Matt Hatcher, the Idea Foundry is “the largest community Makerspace on the planet.”
As Jay Donovan of TechCrunch reports, the newly minted Makerspace, housed in a 100-year-old former shoe factory, is kind of like a gymnasium for people who want to make things.
“You pay a monthly membership fee of $35 and then an hourly fee to use a multitude of different tools to make that thing you need,” Donovan explains. ”[It could be] a 3D printed prototype, a piece of jewelry, a CNC metal cut, laser cut template, fired pottery or other needful object for your startup, business or art studio. There are different hourly rates ranging from $5-$35 depending on the toolset. Additionally, you can also pay a fee to have the facility just make your prototype for you.”
Indeed, the massive Makerspace is well stocked with a wide range of tools and rooms, including laster cutters, an IC3D three-dimensional printer, a large space dedicated to development boards like the Atmel-powered Arduino family, three kilns, as well as complete wood and metal shops.
“What a lot of people don’t know about Columbus is that there is a fierce entrepreneurial spirit in the capital of the 7th most populous state in the nation. There are many startups in Columbus, and in nearby Cincinnati too,” Donovan adds.
“I can see how a facility like this could lower the barriers for many hardware startups — for which the beginning capital investment can be a bit more intense — to get their concepts going. I think relatively low rates like they are offering will boost the activity in the area even more. The facility is opening now and looking for the next big thing from Makers in the area.”
Interested in learning more? You can visit the online home of the Columbus Idea Foundry here.