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After most of the lights in many warehouses in the Hermon Industrial Zone near Hammond Street are turned off at night, every Tuesday night, a space in the Free Industrial Park welcomes a group of lively hackers, builders and creators to eat pizza and share stories and dreams. new project.
Bangor Makerspace-on the Bangor-Hermon line, so close to Queens City-quietly opened last year, with the stated goal of becoming a tinker, manufacturer, and artist And "general geeks" can work on projects, solve local problems, and learn from each other.
For non-profit organizations, this is a slow and steady process. But in the past year, Michael Revel, the co-founder of Louisville, Kentucky, moved to Maine in 2017 and witnessed its increase from zero to 18 paying members. The donation allows it to add equipment, including 3D printers, laser engravers, woodworking tools, and CNC machines-a computerized machine tool that can cut wood and other materials according to the user's specifications. There is also a series of products made by open source hardware and software companies Arduino and Raspberry Pi.
One day at Makerspace, someone may design and 3D print toys, use waste leather and wood to make puppets, repair old computer equipment, or just play with coding to make the equipment do some weird things. Although many of the current members of the space come from the fields of programming and computer engineering, as the organization grows, Revel hopes to see more types of creators join.
Clockwise from top left: The plotter part that Eric Lovejoy is making is made of Lego bricks; Michael Revel, the co-founder of Bangor Makerspace, leads the weekly group meeting every Tuesday night; Chris Lewicki punched a small hole in the model he made using Bangor Makerspace's 3D resin printer. Image Credit: Linda Cohen Oakrick/BDN
"That happens to be the person who pioneered this field-someone with an engineering background," Revel said. "But we want every type of manufacturer to feel at home here. We want to see more woodworking. We would love to see ceramic spaces here. We just want to encourage creativity."
The origin of the space comes from the Maine Hacker Club, a group of computer programmers whose members decided to provide a physical space for their projects. During 2019 and 2020, they increased their start-up costs, found space in Hermon, and finally opened in November 2020.
Revel completed his second degree in electrical engineering at the University of Maine in May—his first degree was a computer science degree at Indiana University Southwest—inspired by LVL1, which he was moving to Maine A former member of the Makerspace in Louisville. He said that LVL1 has always been the best practice guide for Bangor makerspaces, although there are many types of makerspaces all over the country.
"They are very generous to be our role models and help us learn how to operate and do things correctly," Revel said.
Other makerspaces in Maine include Factory 3 and Open Bench, both of which are located in Portland and operate under a membership model. There are also makerspaces operated by universities and libraries, including the Maine State Library and the University of New England. The IMRC — Innovative Media Research and Commercialization — Center at the University of Maine also provides a range of equipment and other facilities for hourly hire.
The current main goal of Bangor Makerspace is to get 28 paying members to join. With a membership of $60 per month, so many members will enable the organization to be self-sufficient and use all the additional funds received to purchase new equipment and extensions.
Revel’s day-to-day work is as a technology integrator and educational technician in unit 63 of the regional school, which serves the K-8 school districts of Holden, Clifton and Eddington, where he also works on robotics, web design and The club is run by students interested in programming. Whether in school or in Bangor Makerspace, education and creativity are his passion.
"I like being able to do multiple jobs-work with middle school students during the day, and then come here on weekends to tinker and experiment with people my age," Revel said. "There is a real richness of creativity there."
Bangor Makerspace provides a repair cafe on the first Saturday of every month for the public to bring damaged technology or other items for Makerspace members to try to repair. For more information, please visit bangormakerspace.org.
Emily Burnham is a native of Maine and a proud Bangor, covering the business, art, restaurants, culture and history of the Bangor area. More works by Emily Burnham