December 2018 Newsletter

In this issue:

  • Upgrades: Metal Shop, Wood Shop, 3D Printers
  • Solidworks available
  • Master classes
  • Events and activities
  • Safety always
  • Growing Makespace

Upgrades in Wood Shop, Metal Shop and 3D printers

The secure workshop has been upgraded into separate wood and metal shops.   We now have a larger workspace for woodworking, a dedicated metal working room with new lighting and a PVC curtain to keep out the dust out.  Work is still ongoing on both shops.   New shadow boards are in progress, so that every tool has a place, and the extraction system will be extended around the now much lager wood working area.

The CNC-Router has been upgrade with a more powerful spindle motor and a ER20 collet (Adrian vdH, Michael D) that will take 12.7mm pro wood cutters in addition to the cutters it already supports.  Work continues on an improved control system.

Thanks to the teams who moved the metal shop ( Michael D, Mark M, Robert C, Petri M, Woolf) and the team who moved the workbench, sorted tools, hung the PVC curtain between the shops (Michael D, Graeme D, Matt J, Adrian vdH, Jim C, Toby S, Ward H)

The 3D printer team has introduced flexible filament and master class training. You can read more about that at the Google group. Exciting Makespace 3D Printing News….


Cadteck has been generously donated 10 full commercial licences of the following packages:
  • SolidWorks Premium
  • SolidWorks Simulation Premium
  • SolidWorks Composer
  • SolidWorks Flow with ECM and HVAC
  • SolidWorks Plastics Premium (standalone)
  • SolidWorks MBD Standard
  • SolidWorks Electrical Professional
  • SolidWorks Visualize Professional
  • SolidWorks PCB
Many thanks to Solidworks reseller Cadtek for the generous donation.  The total value of these software packages, in the quantity of licenses we have, exceeds £500,000.  There will be a master class early in 2019 about using the software

To access the software, look for the posters in the space for installation instructions and the help thread on the Google group. Please acknowledge Cadtek in any announcements, instructions, repos or social media. Thank you to Tom P. for getting the software and Adrian vdH for helping setting up the licence servers.

If you know of any organisations who would be willing to donate tools or support Makespace please let us know.

Master Classes

At its core Makespace is about learning to do cool new things. We have a very robust safety training programme but that is not always enough to achieve cool.  Members have taken things up a level and are now delivering more in depth training focused on applications and building advanced skills. We are looking to both the Makespace community and external experts to share tips, experience, design strategies for making in monthly meetings.

Master classes are already be delivered, Michael D has held several Master classes on Fusion 360 where we talked about the skills he learned in order to make his guitars, Francine from local UX firm Dovetailed gave a talk on how user requirements are gathered and incorporated in design.   Michael held another event in which they discussed advanced skills with the Hand-held  Router. The 3D Printer team is planning on offering classes in Cura, 3D modelling, flexible printing and printing with new materials.

If you you have a story,  perspective to share, or know of a local speaker we can invite to deliver a Makespace Master Class please get in touch: management (at) makespace.org.  



Makespace continues be one of the most active STEM venues in Cambridge, given the basic training  and master classes there is an event on almost every other day. This is getting noticed and prompted Tech Nation to note the diversity of our activity in a recent report on UK tech Meet-ups.  Makespace is the largest tech meet-up group in Cambridge with over 2,600 members.  We are going to need a bigger classroom….

A quick summary of the events you have held at Makespace in the last few weeks includes programming and computing events such as a Ruby programming language meet-up  (Ben T), Raspberry Pi makers (Kim S-J) and Droidscript (David H and Glyn P), exploring the creative side with Board Game Design (Rasmus H), Cambridge Synthesisers (Thomas W and Jo B) and  The Night of Writing Dangerously (Juan C), while the Robot Club (Brian C) and Sunday Sessions (Mr C.) have been learning from the kids, we learned how to use Insects for food (Boyuan X), and create a Co-housing community ( Robert C).  The Cambridge Judge Business School and the institute for Manufacturing interviewed members who are using Makespace to create and prototype products in their businesses. (Michael D, Andre D, Will M) have used the space. Suggestions were made in a members survey meeting (Simon F). All of this activity motivated 24 people to attend inductions (Alaric W) and become members of Makespace in November and thus far in December. We met some of the new members, and many of the existing, at a very well attended Xmas end of the year social.   The party featured several VR systems (Melanie T) and pizza and mince pies (Jonathan W).    

As members of Makespace you are encouraged to host events that promote making and STEM.  Please get in touch with management (at) management.org if you want to host an event.  More information at  the google group Classroom check list.


There are 20 members who have stepped forward to be trainers and owners for Makespace equipment.  This is as low as it has been since records began. It takes only a few hours a month to run a training session. Moreover, being an owner or trainer means you have a say in how the equipment is run, what improvements are made, and what materials are available.   Thank you to the people who have run training sessions in the past month (and to the others who will step forward after reading this):

  • 3D Printers –  Katy M, Andy B, and Mareus Z
  • CNC Router  – Michael D
  • Hand Router – Michael D.
  • Laser Cutters  – Toby S
  • Mitre Saw and Circular Saw  – Melanie T
  • See the Space – Ward H
  • Makespace inductions – Alaric

Safety Always

We do need more members to have safety training, especially if you work in the secure workshop or host events. Please get in touch at management@makespace.org if you have not been fire safety or first aid trained.

Growing Makespace

Makespace has seen some real growth in the past year, 175 new members. This is due to the continual improvements in the space, the way we operate it and the cool stuff we make together. One of the operational improvements has been doing See the Space tours on Mondays (Ward H) followed by Inductions (Alaric W) later the same week. Hence the need for you to help with both training and welcoming all these new members to the community.

A guide to doing the see the space events is in the public google drive folder, here.  If you are free on Monday evening and can help by giving a tour please get in touch with management (at) makespace.org.

Electronic Inductions

All members of Makespace, 1,000 in the last 5 years, went through an induction, had safety briefings agreed to the rules. It is a lot of paperwork and manual tasks.  We are now testing an electronic induction system, developed by Tom P and Jonathan W,  This should reduce the time needed to induct new members while staying compliant with our privacy and safety policies.  More inductors are required.  It takes an afternoon a month only. Please get in touch with management (at) makespace.org

How you can help

Makespace is a volunteer run organisation and was built from the ground up by its members. Your skills can benefit Makespace greatly.  New people are joining our community each month and each new member needs training.  Being a trainer takes as little as 2 hrs per month. If you use a particular item of equipment regularly, please contact the owners of the equipment you use to offer to be a trainer, or via management (at) makespace.org management@makespace.org to discuss becoming becoming a trainer.

Watch the google group the notice broad in the main space for other things that need to be done around the space.

Makespace is as economical as it is because you, the membership, make the contributions for which other spaces have to pay.  Thank you to everybody who has helps make Makespace what it is!
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December 2018 @camakespace

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