Tag: hacklab

HackLab.TO

Questions

1)Are there any tools that you personally or your members are eager to get for the space?

2)How do you go about deciding what kinds of public workshop or events to hold?

3)Do you find members collaborating in ways you didn’t initially imagine when starting HackLab?


 

Visit

Arriving at HackLab’s new location we were introduced to Eric Boyd. Eric spoke to us about HackLabs start as a smaller co-working space with mostly programmers and hackers to a now larger space with fabrication equipment, traditional tools and a diverse range of members. The main area had 3D printers, computers, and a bunch of custom made gadgets that augment the space. He then showed us another room with some more traditional tools and a laser cutter. We then moved on to see the shared kitchen and the lounge area. Finally we visited the back room that is used for teaching workshops and classes, sewing, traditional photography development, bio-hacking and more.

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Eric Boyd of HackLab.TO

Reflection

This was my second time visiting HackLab. The first time I visited HackLab was in their much smaller Kensington location. This time the growth of their business was very evident not only space wise but member wise. I recognized familiar faces but also recognized a collection of new members with more diverse interests. It was nice to see how this kind of maker space is sustaining itself and evidently flourishing. I was interested in the way the space continues to meet the needs of so many different kinds of makers, and what it took to maintain a space like that. Eric was very candid in answering questions about how much it cost to run the business and his vision of the future of the space. After visiting so many different collaborative and co-working spaces both in Toronto and New York has really inspired me to think more about the power of these kinds of spaces.

Links

http://hacklab.to/

https://nowtoronto.com/news/preview-the-toronto-mini-maker-fair/

http://www.betakit.com/the-biggest-canadian-startup-stories-of-2014/

 

Hack Lab (Hakka Lab)

Q:How does the community inside Hack Lab work and are there any corporate ethics involved?

Q:Have you considered any other ways to keep the Lab running, beside monthly subscription?

Q:How does the degree of creativity in people change as they work and experiment in Hack Lab?

 

Sumaranai: Hack Lab is a studio made specifically to assist people, with ambition in programming, wearable technology and any kind of technological innovation, in reaching their goals. The studio itself is an apartment-like set of rooms, each with different purpose. Firstly there is the room with the entrance where presumably most of the coding is done. Programmers also share this room with several 3d printers and a laser cutter. During our visit we were greeted by Eric Boyd, one of the creators of Hacklab and we had a little tour around the space. Firstly my sub-group has seen the kitchen, where nice Asian lady told us all about the secrets of testing new recipes on unsuspecting co-workers. Then we visited the workshop, where Eric shared with us how much hacking has been done to ensure than not a single Ampere passes through the power cords unnoticed, and of course the pride of the Hack Lab – the air filtration system to ensure that human casualties after laser cutting are minimal. After that we visited the resting area with a small sniper nest and Breaking Bad level chemical setup with unidentified substances, which as have been described by Eric – “Are used by other two people for unknown to him purposes”, most assuring. At the end of the day the kind Asian lady offered us some food and everybody got some, except me – I read a lot of Grimm brothers’ tales in my childhood and know better.

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Reflection: The experience in Hack Lab could hardly be called distinctive, a nice giant workshop made for any imaginable work with hardware and software. The sense of community purchased for fifty dollars does not sound so appealing, but rather cheesy. The needs of Lab to maintain itself are clear, yet the membership in this fine establishment does not sound as tempting and non-membership and fifty dollars in the pocket. I presume it is only because I have yet to run into a project where my life would depend on air filtration system after some heavy laser cutting. The Lab looks like a “done and gone” type of place where you abandon the ship as soon as your month runs out. Personally I found it pretty hard to identify the target audience for a place like that, since I always assumed that new entrepreneurs are looking for a way to earn and not spend money, yet this lab seems full of people willing to pay fifty dollars per month for the access card on the front door.

HackLab – March 24th

RepairCafeFeb20151

Our last Tuesday visit was to HackLab. The lab provides a space where registered members can develop their projects while paying a monthly fee to use the lab’s space. My questions were the following:

  • Are members required to credit HackLab if they manage to successfully commercialize a product developed in the lab?
  • What are your future plans to expand HackLab, if there are any?
  • What are the most successful projects developed by HackLab members?

Summary

We were greeted by Eric Boyd as we walked in, and he told us a bit about HackLab and showed us some cool devices, such as a device in the entrance that identifies who’s walking in and greets them accordingly, and also displays the person’s chosen name and personal message on a big screen on top of the room. The main room included computers and 3D printers. We were divided into smaller groups to have a tour around the place. The first room my group visited was a working room with several tools, including a machine that, according to Eric, was used to create plastic objects with smooth curves and edges by pressing two warm plates against each other. After that, we got to see a bit of the kitchen, used for cooking as expected, and later on we reunited with the other group in a bigger adjacent area with a table and chairs that also gave access to the “tree house” (an elevated area that could be accessed through stairs) and a dark room. The area also included a small studio-like space for taking photos of models and specific products. We were then offered a lot of delicious lunch and it was all around a good time.

 

Impressions

HackLab was probably one of my favorite spaces visited during class. There’s something really special about the familiar atmosphere that it gives off, and it has a surprising variety of rooms and things to do and use for what seems like such a small space. The monthly fee per member ($50) seems incredibly reasonable considering the amount of tools the members have access to. I think this kind of initiative is really valuable in the context of the Maker Economy for the way it empowers people to develop their own projects by having access to technology that otherwise might be unaffordable for them. The ambient seems great for people who either like to work alone or in groups, and everything seems very well organized.

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