The Columbus Idea Foundry (CIF) is a 65,000 square ft. “makerspace” designed to help creators, entrepreneurs, designers and artists “make” things. Essentially, the Idea Foundry is a large workshop with lots of different tools designed to help hardware creators and small business’s gain cheap access to the equipment they need, in order to make anything from prototypes to small production runs.
The Idea Foundry includes an IC3D 3D printer. A complete 3D-printing class is also available to those wishing to learn how to use the up and coming technology. Raspberry Pi is also represented with workshops as well as coding classes.
Custom manufacturing is a relatively new movement in the United States. It seeks to give some of the manufacturing possibilities that multinational businesses have to the artists, hobbyists and artisans interested in expanding their horizons. The founders of the Idea Foundry seek to empower small businesses, giving them tools which they may not be able to afford or get access to otherwise.
The new space opened its doors on the first of June; however the project has been on the rails for a long time. The Idea Foundry is not only a place where craftsmen gather and work, it’s also a way to revitalize downtown Columbus. The Franklinton Development Association worked together with the Columbus Idea Foundry to take over a 100-year-old shoe factory – that was later a Harley Davidson dealership – and turn the warehouse in East Franklinton into this makerspace
People who want to use the space and tools need to pay a $35 monthly membership fee and an hourly rate ranging from $5 to $35, depending on which tools they wish to utilize. Another option for those who may not want the hands on responsibility, is to simply pay other individuals in the shop to create they need manufactured.
The tools and manufacturing methods available to members range from simple wood shops, to jewelry making, to metal cutting, to laser cutters, to complete kilns. The website of the Columbus Idea Foundry allows individuals to register for workshop classes or become purchase memberships. The classes offered by the CIF include a warm glass blowing shop, blacksmithing and metal casting, jewelry making classes, woodworking, laser and CNC routing, welding and metal working, software and programming as well as a business and entrepreneurship class.
Are you a member of the largest makerspace on the planet, or considering joining up? Let’s hear from you at the Columbus makerspace forum thread at 3DPB.com