Two 3D soon to be Three or Four…


The Space in Lancaster has acquired a second 3D printer that can be used by Members who have completed the 3D Printing training. This machine is the property of Mark Keating who is allowing use of the machine by members as long as they pay for the costs of the material that is extruded.

The printer is a model of the Replicator 2 and has twin nozzles. This means that it can be used to print with two different maetrials at the same time and can utilise a variety of printing techniques. It should be possible to combine elements such as hard filament and ninja flex to print wheels with tires in situ on a single run.

The printer will take PLA and ABS and is being tested with other materials. It can also handle support material allowing for more complex prints to be achieved.

At this time Mark and Tom are calibrating and testing the printer, they will soon add a part cooling mdification which will further enhance the machine and will be looking to add a glass bed.

A Code of Conduct

The Directors of the Lancaster and Morecambe Makers have today published a ‘Code of Conduct’ to the website that will also be posted in the Lancaster ‘Space’.

There are strong reasons to set a basic code for behaviour in shared spaces and to announce in advance what measures can be taken to respond to any potential incidents. This is particularly true for the ‘Space’ as we wish to encourage younger members to attend and to make the ‘Space’ available to all sections of our society.

We’d ask all members, visitors and guests to be aware of the Code of Conduct which is based upon a principle of respect.

Founder Members

Great companies start because the founders want to change the world… not make a fast buck. – Guy Kawasaki **

The organisers of the Lancaster and Morecambe Makers have made a decision that there should be a Founder Member Donation available. A donation of £100 or more made during the first 3 months of the ‘Space’ 1st March – 30th May makes you a Founder Member for life.*

Benefits of Founder Member: To be honest there are none.

Seriously, none. This is a person who is willing to put money into the space to help us succeed and become financially solvent. members will love them for ever. Their name will be on the roll of honour as founder members. But they get nothing more. There is no rights of access or privileges, they still have to pay to be a member to use the ‘Space’ or pay the day rate/use an open day…

…though there are rumours that there wil be a special badge, and/or plaque, just because they are being so cool 🙂

The current list of Founder Members is:

  • Shadowcat Systems Limited
  • Mark Keating
  • Graham Hill

If you would like to become a Founder Member then please contact us for details of how to make a donation. You contact one of the members (see our About page for lots of contact details or to email us).

* Though since the organisation is taking memberships now and donations now you have an extra month or so to those dates.

**

The LAZOR has Landed

We had confirmation this week that the Laser has arrived in the UK and will be installed in the space within the next two weeks.

Currently we are looking at the installation to happen on a Sunday, likely the 15th February. All members will be allowed to come along and help fit and receive training on the laser. If you are not yet a member but would like to help out as you are considering joining the space then please contact one of the members (see our About page for lots of contact details or to email us).

We have a Laser

The Lancaster ‘Space’ will have an official opening in the Spring of 2015 and it is with great pleasure that I can announce that we will have an A2 Laser Cutter from the good folks at Just Add Sharks and Shadowcat Systems when we open our doors. The Laser Cutter will have extra water cooling and will be installed by the team who built it who will also provide an initial training session for the Hackspace.

The Laser will remain the property of Shadowcat Systems who will allow the Hackspace to charge for usage to visitors and members. Members will receive a 50% discount to all costs for usage which will be on a pre-booked hourly basis. We will invite any local businesses or individuals to also book usage on the machine at very generous rates. Businesses will be billed using a full invoice allowing them to make it a part of their day to day expenses. More details of this will be made available once the machine has been settled into its new home.

We think this will be an awesome contribution to the Hackspace and are indebted to Shadowcat Systems for sponsoring the laser.


The Space will have a number of electronic and manufacturing machines and as more are gained educational courses, training and practical hands-on training will be provided between, and for members. The plan would be to offer these services, access to the machines, and broader technological/manufacturing collaboration between the Space and educational establishments in the district. These will be performed via membership, open days and special ‘education’ days to promote small-scale fabrication.

The Space will also work strongly to promote STEM (Female representation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and build associations with organisations such as the WISE Campaign.  

There is an increasing focus from the government to get more people, especially young people involved in Science and Engineering, hackerspace/maker ecology is particularly geared towards this as this article on the BBC news, from the ElectroMagnetic Field Camp in August 2014, discusses:

Industry as a Community Partner

Sole traders, Craft Traders, Micro-traders and Small enterprises do not usually have access to prototyping and electronic/digital fabrication machinery. The space will allow one-off usages, short memberships, or single item prototyping allowing small, new or innovative businesses to collaborate and innovate.

The Space will not compete economically on mass-produced items. However for smaller, agile, enterprises who need short-run, locally-accessible machinery for limited time periods it may represent a huge impact on their creative prowess and innovation strategy.

Hardware prototyping has been traditionally the largest stumbling block to the creation of a new product from smaller enterprises. A small digital fabrication shop with access to a varied array of tools, machinery and the knowledge and experience of its members may be the difference between a dream and a profitable enterprise.

Sole traders, craft suppliers and creative artists benefit particularly well from access to new fabrication process and machinery, but there is a benefit to established manufacturers and educational establishments from the input of the creative sector. Partnership between micro- and small-businesses, students and craft organisations is the focus of LICA at Lancaster University and LUMS.

A number of UK companies have already been formed from Community Hackspaces, such as Just Add Sharks, Folksy and Rattle Central. There is also the success of the Raspberry PI (UK designed and made) which is part of the Maker movement.

A Discussion on the Space: LAMM and LuneLab

(The views in the fiollowing article belong to the author and are not to be taken as wholly representative of the Lancaster and Morecambe Makers)

The Lancaster and Morecambe Makers are a group of local ‘technically minded’ and ‘craft-orientated’ people from Lancaster and Morecambe who wish to integrate their passion for open technology, collaboration and shared learning, within the wider community and educational environments.

There is already a local maker group based at Halton Mill called LuneLab ( This is a group that seeks to achieve many of the same aims, provide a local space to encourage making, crafting and collaboration. However there are important differences.
We are keen to focus on integrating the community and educational aspects of a Makerspace with the broader areas of companies, trade and industry. Our belief, and aim, is to foster an open environment for innovation, creation and commerce to broaden the community and create a sustainable environment that integrates business.

Makerspaces, and makers, broadly exist within the realm of Community Clubs, Membership Organisations; they are often not-for-profit organisations or community-led organisations. We intend to be managed as a not-for-profit to simplify the business focus of the organisation but that is where the similarity ends with the traditional club. We wish to have a stronger focus on the benefits of membership to small companies and sole traders. To show how using divergent technology, open technology and collaborative spaces can lead to innovation and generate new markets. We would also like to encourage interaction and collaboration with schools and colleges, other clubs and the wider community. There has been an increased focus from central government for the need to tie the relationships between these groups to achieve greater productivity and open opportunities.

Another distinction that can be made is that the LuneLab is not based within either Lancaster or Morecambe. LuneLab is run from Halton Mill, in Halton, near Lancaster and is part of the very noble sustainable ecology that exists around that area. We feel that a Lancaster ‘Space’ in a more central location, with on-site parking for trade and public users, nearby facilities and good transport links would help local trades and community groups more central to Lancaster. There is also the fact that the White Cross estate is a prominent business and technology park which complements our desire for industrial partnership.

LuneLab started mostly by the Lancaster CoHousing and Green Elephant organisations, as such part of its focus is on sustainability, alternative energy and recycling. These are admirable goals and again they are beliefs we share and encourage how ever we are attempting to foster only one ideology in the ‘Space’ which is a collaborative environment for open partnership.

Inside all of our serious, and somewhat formal, goals is the need to have fun and indulge in working with each other to build exciting projects and for sharing knowledge. An essential component in the success of Hackerspaces is the enthusiasm of the participants. We hope to encourage that enthusiasm; to increase links between what is notionally seen as hobbies/crafts and education; while at the same time provide opportunities for industry and commerce.

We have already spoken to the LuneLab and have identified that the Lancaster ‘Space’ will have a greater technological focus and the Halton ‘Space’ more geared towards crafts. However both ‘Spaces’ will offer a broad range of both and we want to work in partnership as well as with the broader communities. We are looking at ways of exploring and developing that partnership in 2015 and we will announce this as we work towards a cohesive plan.

Launching the “Space”

The Lancaster Space which will be the home of the newly-formed Lancaster and Morecambe Hackspace has been chosen and will be located in the centre of Lancaster at the White Cross Business Park.

At this time we are still in contract negotiation with the White Cross estate, but we have provisionally held a location and have secured funding for our first year’s rent.

A big thanks to Janet at White Cross, John-Pritam-Andrew at Lancaster County Council and Ruth also at LCC for their generous help and support so far.