AAA  Sep. 11, 2016 11:59 PM ET
Rockwall Makerspace: a place to build and create
Joseph Alderman, Rockwall County Herald-Banner, Greenville, Texas (TNS)
Tribune Content Agency, LLC
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If you have an itch to create or build something, but lack the room or tools to do it, there is a new space in Rockwall where you can make your vision a reality.

Operating out of the Industrial Boulevard workshop of Rockwall locals Keith and Blake Buchanan, the Rockwall Makerspace is a members-only facility where people have access to specialized tools and machinery that can be used for personal projects. The workshop is also the home of Rockwall High School’s robotics team, the Full Metal Jackets, for which the Buchanans are sponsors.

“Our goal is to get in the positive, cover expenses at the facility because that’s where we do our normal business,” Blake Buchanan said. “We’re both engineers. We’re hoping to cover the expenses of the building, but if we get in the positive we would like to donate that to the Rockwall Robotics Club. Hopefully we can help fund their annual budget.”

The space gives members access to tools such as 3D printers, laser cutters, planers, jointers, CNC mills and routers, lathes and much more. Volunteers at the space also provide training in the use of the equipment, although Blake hopes that members may be able to help each other.

“We’ll probably get members with a vast array of experiences and areas of expertise,” Blake said. “Hopefully when it’s all said and done we’ll have members with more experience in these machines than any of the volunteers. The collaborations those members can have, learning to use the tools and work on projects together, they can coordinate projects and learn each other’s skills and develop a partnership.”

Members also have the benefit of using the facility 24 hours a day.

“It’s 24-7 access, members get specific access codes to use the facilities 24 hours a day,” Blake said. “We’ve got 24-hour video recording in all of the rooms, and there are safety guidelines members have to follow to make that possible.”

Blake hopes that this will help accommodate for the various hours that members may keep, as well as to provide extra opportunities to make use of the more popular equipment.

“Sometimes someone needs a big chunk of time on a machine, so there will be limits to access of some tool during peak hours,” Blake said. “But if you come at three in the morning, you can pretty much guarantee yourself four or five hours. We’re trusting that our waivers and training and video cameras will keep us safe.”

Membership to the Rockwall Makerspace is $50, which is paid month-to-month with no contract. Discounts are offered to active and former military, first responders, teachers and college students.

Information about the Makerspace including links to social media can be found at www.rockwallmakerspace.com, and the facility is located at 2010 Industrial Blvd, Suite 604 in Rockwall.

Joseph Alderman may be reached at jalderman@heraldbanner.com.

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©2016 the Rockwall County Herald-Banner (Greenville, Texas)

Visit the Rockwall County Herald-Banner (Greenville, Texas) at rockwallheraldbanner.com

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