Did you know there’s a packed, 11,000 square foot makerspace just 15 miles north of Seattle? We stopped by The Facility Makerspace to see the toys inside this new space funded by Edmonds Community College. If you’re worried about not being a student there — don’t! This makerspace is open to the public and you don’t need to be enrolled in any formal program to use the equipment, either.
David Voetmann led the detailed tour and explained how The Facility works. You can see the highlights for yourself in the video below:
The Facility, located in Lynnwood, Washington, is already decked out with impressive gear and it’s growing.
Today, you can find wood and metal working tools, 3D printers, and even a kiln for ceramics work. These guys are constantly evaluating the needs of those using the space and making adjustments. So, it’s highly likely the list of tools will expand. Some highlights are below.
(Some of ) The Goods
- 3D printers: including Form 2, uPrint and TAZ 6
- Laser cutter
- Water jet
- CNC router
- MIG welder
- 3D scanner
- Fusion 360 (primarily), plus some SolidWorks and Rhino seats
- Vacuum forming equipment
- Injection molders (for smaller parts)
- Room with filtered ventilation for work kicking up a lot of debris
- A friggin’ wind tunnel (seriously)
- All the typical saws, sanders and smaller tools you’d expect
While the breadth of equipment is impressive, the operating format for the space may be equally so. The main goal of The Facility is to make all these sweet tools as accessible as possible to the general public. For $50 and 2 hours of your time, you can get trained on any supported equipment. Or, if you already know how to use those big machines, you can get a check done of your skills. As soon as they verify you’re not likely to accidentally hack off one of your own fingers, you’re good to go! Just reserve time on the machine and pay afterwards for your time and any materials.
The (subject to change) rates are approximately:
- “Open shop” = $5/hr.
- Laser cutter = $30/hr.
- CNC router = $30/hr.
- 3D printer = ~$15/hr. (including materials)
If you’re not looking to build the next unicorn physical product to launch on KickStarter, that’s OK. The Facility still offers a super affordable way to get practical training and experience on machines useful in industry. Vocational training programs are typically way less expensive than a 4-year degree, but this is even cheaper than that! And you can even come away with a nice portfolio of things you made with your new skills.
I don’t live anywhere near Seattle and I’m constantly traveling, but even I was pondering how this space might be useful to me. If I’m in the area and need quick access to some expensive tools, The Facility could come in handy.
David Voetmann told me there are other classes in the works. He hopes The Facility can offer more comprehensive support in the future to budding hardware creators. Things like business, marketing, and legal guidance for example, are crucial in successfully taking the next step past building the thing.
The neatest aspect about this space overall, though, is probably the willingness of the staff to build it in whichever way will encourage more people to jump in and get their hands dirty. They focus on keeping the obstacles to putting a tool in your hand to a minimum. They’re also continually questioning the structure and offerings as they go. If you stop by the space and have comments or suggestions, I’m sure Voetmann would be interested in your feedback!
The Facility Makerspace can be found at:
6606 196TH ST SW
Lynnwood, WA 98036
And the website is: