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 Icewire Makerspace based in Toronto, Canada.
How did Icewire Makerspace start?
We (David, Chris, and Tim) have a big interest in electronics and software, and with the maker movement expanding rapidly, decided that Toronto needed more STEM-focused education for both teens and adults. Each of us brings a different skill to the team: David is an electrical engineering professor at the University of Toronto and has great knowledge of hardware electronics and analog circuits; Chris does 3D printing, web development, and mobile app development; and Tim does embedded systems (e.g., Arduino), robotics, and soldering.
What was the initial response to Icewire Makerspace like?
As we have only been offering classes for three weeks, our initial response is still ongoing. What we can say is that each student is clearly having a positive experience.
Everyone who comes in seems to love the space and what we have to offer.
What kind of equipment and resources do you provide participants?
We have all the basics for building electronics (breadboards, wires, components, etc.), embedded systems (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone, etc.), robots (Lego EV3, Mimetics Jade, SumoBot), soldering irons, and 3D printers (Orion Delta, Printrbot, and MakerBot). Basically, everything someone would need to learn about electronics or build their own project.
What does “hacking” mean to you and your community?
I’ve always thought of it as modifying hardware or software to benefit the user, different from its intended purpose. I suppose this can be expanded to include creating new hardware or software in a unique and creative way. Great projects have been made through hacking (Unix, 3D printing, and most robots, to name a few) and we hope our community views it the same way.
What projects are people working on?
Our makerspace is perhaps a bit different than most.
Our focus is on classes and workshops, with less emphasis on membership. We currently have classes on basic electronics, robotics, Arduino, 3D printing, soldering, and web dev. A few of our students have their own LED board or Arduino projects that they want to make in our space.
What are your future plans?
To exist and to not destroy the planet.