With just a day to go before the glorious festival of creativity that is the Melbourne Mini Maker Faire, we conclude this series of posts on Australia’s hackerspaces with the faire organisers … the Melbourne Connected Community HackerSpace. The CCHS started in early 2009, in a garage like so many other hackerspaces and successful technology ventures. This year, a new space has been acquired, which will provide more room and better access throughout the week. Close proximity to Swinburne University, public transport and numerous cafes make it an ideal location.
Members work on a variety of group and individual projects, ranging from custom designed electronics (often based on the Arduino), 3D printers, rocket telemetry, a laser cutter, even machines that clone DNA. The group often present at local conferences, including running the popular Arduino mini-conference in conjunction with Freetronics. This year, the intention is to start running technical workshops in areas such as electronics and 3D printing.
The CCHS aims to provide a workplace for anyone to get their hobby or technology idea completed. Sometimes this occurs by building the tools, such as a computer controlled mill, that can be used to undertake complex projects. The goal is to share skills and enthusiasm through collaboration and creating a supportive and creative environment, no matter what your level of experience.
Current president, Andy Gelme notes that the CCHS attracts a wide range of people from electronics enthusiasts to performance artists and students. He’s particularly enthusiastic about describing the positive benefits of looping back some of the existing skills in the community to the younger generation.
“We do have a lot of ‘grey beards’, people who are retired or have been in the industry for decades and they’re often keen to pass their experience on. It’s like closing the loop, people that love electronics and have been hacking all their life and passing it on to the next generation.”
Organizing the MakerFaire has been a significant event for our group and we hope that everyone who attends or exhibits has a wonderful day and considers staying in touch with our hackerspace in the future. Details of our up-coming meetings and events are on the web-site calendar and we stay in-touch via our email list. Up until now, the CCHS has focused on software, electronics and mecha-tronics, but the goal is to encourage a broad range of makers and crafts.
Click after the break for a video interview between EEVblog’s David Jones and CCHS benevolent leader Andy Gelme during a weekly hack session. Andy discusses CCHS and some of the issues getting a hackerspace up and running.