10 ways our makerspaces are changing lives

31 October 2022

Spend an afternoon getting crafty, upskill to launch a creative side-hustle and connect with people from around the world at our libraries.  

Our makerspaces are magical realms that give you free access to high tech gadgets like badge makers, sewing machines, 3D printers, editing software, DJ equipment and more.  

Here are just a few of the amazing stories that have emerged from our makerspaces. 

1. Grandparents make-do and mend
A friendly group of older community members who speak Chinese and Hindi come together to use our sewing machines to fix clothes for their families. Even though they might not speak the same language, they enjoy making friends and working side-by-side.

Two people using a sewing machine
Drop by to mend your clothes

2. Graphic-design whiz finds a pathway out of homelessness
A person who was experiencing homelessness spent lots of time in the makerspace learning graphic design, up until the pandemic lockdowns. Recently, the person dropped by to visit the team with the happy news that they’d secured full-time employment using the skills they learned in the makerspace.

3. Physiotherapist designs prototypes for patient recovery
A physiotherapist used the 3D printers and laser cutter over several months to prototype gyroballs and splints that help patients with recovery. They experimented with LED lights, varying 3D models, modifications and materials, and they are now presenting to conferences in medical industries around the world.

Various 3D printed objects
Build something cute or ground-breaking

4. Local resident builds amazing dioramas
A local resident visits the Elizabeth Street Pop-Up Library and Make*It space opposite Queen Victoria Market every week to work on new artworks. So far, she’s created a touching scene of two sisters and a lighthouse and a rainbow representation of Australia. She’s now working on a colourful collection of characters from the Peanuts comics.

5. Museum staff member scales up lizard skeletons
A staff member from Melbourne Museum visited the makerspace to prototype how 3D scanned lizard skeletons can be scaled up for exhibition at the museum. They used our 3D printers to conceptualise how visitors to the museum can better understand the difference in sexes of a small lizard species.

Makerspace signage inviting you to make and play games
The possibilities are endless

6. Vintage coffee machine seller repairs unique parts
A coffee enthusiast and coffee machine seller visited the makerspace to repair vintage coffee machines that he sells in his store. He used 3D printers, computer numerical control (CNC) machining and the 3D scanner to learn and repair parts like drip trays that you can’t get anywhere else.

7. Electronics enthusiast becomes engineering student
A regular of the makerspace who started building remote-controlled cars and other projects using 3D printers, soldering gear and electronics equipment is now studying to be an engineer. They unlocked their passion in the makerspace and have turned it into their professional pursuit.

A makerspace in a modern library
Our makerspaces welcome everybody

8. Embroidery artist experiments
A regular of the makerspace has been creating experimental embroidery and stretching the limitations of our machines to create something beautiful and keep their mind young. Their designs are more detailed and refined every day.

9. Beverage entrepreneur builds their brand
A young entrepreneur with their own new business in beverages has come into the Makerspace to make custom signage for their beverages. They’ve made branded shirts, embroidered tea towels, and signage for events, and now their business is taking off.

Two people using a weaving machine
Knit, weave and make new friends

10. Poet weaves words into fabric
A regular of the makerspace has been creating experimental embroidered poetry on various fabrics. In collaboration with a colleague overseas, the embroideries will be used in a gallery display. The variety of colours and textures is amazing to see, and we can’t wait to see the finished exhibition. 

Drop by our library makerspaces at Library at The DockKathleen Syme Library and Community CentreElizabeth Street Pop-up Library to find your next adventure. 

Our Micro-Labs and other pop-up libraries are also enabling new users to discover and trial makerspace tools, making them more accessible across City of Melbourne neighbourhoods. 

For more information, visit Makerspaces

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