Makers unite for Iron Range Makerspace

11811480_431216607084157_4696832095897457046_nSome of you might recall my Oct. 11 column “Tinkers, Thinkers and 3-D Printers,” in which I suggested one way to diversify the Iron Range economy was to develop homegrown inventions and entrepreneurship.

In that piece, I talked about “maker spaces,” places where dues-paying members would have access to sophisticated building, welding and milling equipment along with 3-D printers. Some maker spaces also have room for video and audio editing booths, computers and access to creative software tools. The whole concept is a major boost to people with big ideas but not much money to invest in the tools of creativity.

I learned recently that there will be a public presentation on a new maker space at Mesabi Range Community College in Virginia, Minnesota. The “Iron Range Makerspace” has been in the works since at least August, apparently an outcropping of some ideas in the Iron Range Engineering program housed at Mesabi.

The presentation will be Monday, Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. in the theater at Mesabi Range College in Virginia. They’ll have information about what kind of equipment will be available and how you can get involved.

Jeez, I wish I had known about this project when I wrote my column. They appear to be operating off of a Facebook page. I did an interview with one of the organizers and I’ll have plenty of new details in my Dec. 6 column.

Meantime, for planning purposes, here’s the flyer:


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