Makerspace Profile: The Forge

Each week, as we get to know our community and the broader IoT movement, we’re fortunate to connect with some remarkable individuals and organizations. In our “Makerspace Profile” series, we interview makerspace founders to learn more about the maker movement around the world.

In this profile, you’ll meet The Forge based in Greensboro, North Carolina.

How did Greensboro Hackerspace (now called The Forge) start?

Joseph Adams, our founder, was researching similar places and noticed Greensboro’s Hackerspace Wiki page on hackerspaces.org hadn’t been updated in a long time, and the email was no longer valid. He updated the page with his information, began spreading the word about Greensboro’s new technology meet up group, and officially founded the organization. For over a year we had 20 members meeting in a coffee house twice a month, sharing project ideas, and planning for the space.

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What was the initial response to Greensboro Hackerspace like?

The term “Hackerspace” was not well received, but those who understood our mission and vision saw the value in our organization. Support went from small to community wide in very short time. Our membership voted to rename the organization “The Forge” due to our building’s historical significance as a blacksmith shop.

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What kind of equipment and resources do you provide participants?

Everything. We are a member driven organization focused on economic development and knowledge growth, so we tailor our equipment and resources based on membership interest. We currently have a full woodworking suite, metalworking equipment, sheet metal tooling, rapid prototyping (laser cutters, 3D printers), electronics/solder/testing benches, digital design area, IT, pottery, sewing/textile, and are constantly acquiring more. Resources? We have a lot of local business owners to guide members and mentor our organization. I’d say our biggest resource is the Greensboro community at large, which has been extremely supportive to our organization.

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What does “hacking” mean to you and your community?

“Hacking” as described by The Forge is modifying anything to repurpose or improve. The term applies to code, tangible object, and everything in between.

What projects are people working on?

Wouldn’t you like to know! Many of our members projects have resulted in patent filed and businesses created, so we can’t always discuss them in detail. I can tell you that the projects include renewable energy sources, handmade furniture, innovative software applications, artistic pieces, and everything 3D printable.

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What are your future plans?

Growth. We have only been open since July 22nd and are already planning our expansion. Our focus on economic development and multidisciplinary collaboration has no limit, meaning we will keep driving to serve our community for years to come. When we started this organization, the general idea was that we’d become a garage filled with toys and tools for everyone to use, but we’ve evolved as we realized how best we could serve Greensboro.

 

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