Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is the Dallas Maker Community?
For Makers, by Makers, we are an independent non-profit organizational development, research, and leadership education network that helps to promote and share Dallas Maker Community ideals, values, and knowledge throughout North Texas.
What do you do?
We network with other Makers in the Maker community to promote makerspaces residing in North Texas. We conduct makerspace-specific leadership, management, and organizational research. We develop makerspace leadership education resources. And we indiscriminately promote the makerspace educational ideology within our regional network of makerspace leaders, managers, educators, enthusiasts, promoters, marketers, evangelists, and influencers without regard to other special interests or agendas. Helping to establish a strong, creative, innovative, impactful, and collaborative Maker culture as a regular part of life in North Texas is one of our highest priorities.
What services do you provide?
We provided creative zero-cost organizational development and marketing solutions to help makerspaces achieve their community purpose. In addition, we offer leadership education to help makerspace leaders develop their skills and knowledge.
Do you charge a fee?
No. Our services are always free of charge.
How can I request services?
We do not accept solicitations. However, we will from time to time accept referrals from someone within our network. Services are provided on a case-by-case, need-only basis that we identify and select independently. You are more than welcome to network with us on social media. If you know of a worthy cause that deserves our attention, please let us know about it!
Can I volunteer to help?
Maybe. If you believe you have skills, connections, or resources that would be an asset to our mission, feel free to network with us on social media. We offer both paid and unpaid research internships to graduate students in STEM fields, psychology, and management science. We also offer paid and unpaid internships to talented individuals with art, communication, coding, information technology, law, business, and management backgrounds.
Do you accept donations?
Yes! We are always grateful for any donations we receive. However, we are currently fully funded and do not require any additional donations at this time. Thank you for your support!
Please take my money! How can I send you my donation anyway?
We work with a network of trusted donors who help us provide the resources we need to continue our work. We only accept donations as needed from these donors in order to maintain high standards of communication and collaboration with those that support our cause. If you still want to make an impactful financial contribution that would benefit our mission, you can join us by networking with us on social media. Thank you for your support!
Are you affiliated with Dallas Makerspace?
No. The Dallas Maker Community came together to create Dallas Makerspace in 2010. The Founder of Dallas Makerspace is also the Founder and Executive Director of Dallas Maker Community. Founding members and supporters of Dallas Makerspace are still a big part of our network. However, the two organizations have no formal affiliation.
Who is your Executive Director?
Our Executive Director is Mark Havens, who is also founder and founding Director of Dallas Makerspace. Mark brings many years of organizational development experience to DMC. He strongly believes in our mission and in the potential impact of our programs.
Where should a community makerspace be located?
Makerspaces can be located just about anywhere. Depending on the type of community you want to attract, location generally is less of a factor than other types of business ventures. Many community makerspaces start however they can and use whatever low-cost building is available. Light industrial areas are popular because they're close to residential areas, accessible by public transport, and can be very affordable. Engage the community in all aspects of site location and buildout because this builds loyalty, buy-in, pride, and a sense of community among members. Members should become die-hard fans of your makerspace. Any donated sweat equity they contribute will directly translate into an invaluable source of word-of-mouth marketing for your space.
Is a 3D printer required to have a makerspace?
Definitely not! 3D printers are cutting edge, and they're a draw because of their popularity, but it's not a requirement to have one. In fact, a makerspace doesn’t require equipment at all! Having a place for a community to engage in projects can sometimes be enough. There is far more to a makerspace than its equipment. But equipment having equipment available in a makerspace is often an effective way to inspire people to learn. 3D printing is just one kind of making, and the prices of 3D printers have declined so much over the years that almost anyone can afford one. A makerspace is a hands-on collaborative learning environment. Programming, physical computing, and fabrication (both digital and non-digital) are all cornerstones of maker culture. Selecting equipment, like a 3D printer, is just one thing to consider in order to address the needs of the community you wish to serve by providing a makerspace.
What is needed to start a community makerspace?
You might be intimidated by the idea of starting a makerspace. You've read about makerspaces and seen how they're a great resource for people all over the world. Now you want to start one. You don't need much. Dallas Makerspace opened its first location in 2010 with a little over $6,000 in community funds and less than 30 founding members contributing modestly every month. Every makerspace creates its own path based on the resources and vision of the community it serves. Ultimately, you will need the following:
A makerspace is all about passion for your community and a strong belief in the importance of learning by doing. Without a laser-focused passion for serving people, you will be unable to establish the trust necessary to sell yourself or your service to others. It is possible to make money from a makerspace, but your passion must be focused on a sincere love of serving your community. The hands-on exploration, creativity, and collaboration offered by a makerspace provide an invaluable service to those who take advantage of it. You'll need passion and a strong belief in the importance of learning by doing to succeed in this venture.
You will want to provide community access to a physical space that is dedicated to making things. This space can be a corner of a room, an entire room, a whole building, or even an entire campus. Your community will need regular access to this space in order to use it effectively. If you already have a commercial space that you use for another venture, offering a small work area to your community may help contribute to your marketing goals. If you already have a home workshop in your garage or shed, opening this space up to your community could offset tool expenses that you would normally spend on home improvement or hobbies. Also, your workshop and any new expenses would become immediately tax deductable! By offering space in a makerspace, you can create opportunities for people to come together and collaborate on new ideas. This space can be used for educational purposes, business purposes, or simply as a place to gather and be creative. Regardless of how you use it, space in a makerspace can be a valuable asset that won't always be tangible.
One of the great things about makerspaces is that you don't necessarily need your own money or equipment to get started. If you're bold enough to ask around, you may be surprised at how many people are willing to donate materials to your cause. Friends, family, and even strangers can be a great source of makerspace supplies. Of course, if you already have a shop full of tools and equipment, this part is done for you. But for those just getting started, it's important to remember that you don't need to go it alone. There's a whole community out there ready and willing to help you get started on your makerspace journey.
When starting a makerspace, it's important to get the community involved to figure out what they need. This is called market research in the business world. You won't succeed if you don't build a supportive community and do market research, even if it's just informal conversations with prospective members to figure out what they want. A makerspace is only as successful as its community is engaged, so it's important to get feedback from people who want to use it before you start building anything. Once you have a good understanding of what the community needs, you can start planning how to best meet those needs. With a little effort, you can create a makerspace that everyone will love!