Our visit to Nottingham Hack Space

Last week as part of our research in to opening our own hackspace, one of our members contacted Space. Nottingham was one of the first hack spaces to pop up in the UK, it followed on from London. Arrangements were then made to go and visit. This was to gather as much information as possible related to running/setting up a Hack Space. They have a free open night every Wednesday open to the public.

Whilst we were there we got a tour of the space. It is split in to three different sections as shown below…

The Lounge Area

The Lounge Area

Above is the Lounge area. This is the first room you enter in the space. This is where members sit down, have a chat and chill. The room has a fully kitted media system with a projector and sound equipment, plus mood lighting. They have all of the kit to host presentations/talks. Or you can kick back and watch a film. Around the room there were interesting as well as unique items that had been collected over the years. The collection included old test gear, audio recording equipment and much more.

The main hack/event area

The main hack/event area

The main making area is where most of the activity takes place. In this room is a collection of kit for members to use. This includes sewing and craft kit and 3D Printers. Below is a list of some of the tools that Nottingham’s Hackspace has on offer to it’s members.

– House hold sewing machine
– Industrial sewing machine
– A store of materials and accessories
– Cutting table
– Pursa Mensel 3D Printer
– Craft supply’s
and the best bit…
– An RFID accessed vending machine

Lots of really cool power tools

Lots of really cool power tools

Electronic work area

Electronic work area

The final section was the workshop, this was fantastic! Every machine that you would need for general hacking was there including…

– Hand tools
– Electronic testing equipment
– Soldering irons
– Hand drills
– Hammer drill
– Table saw
– Mitre saw
– The all important Laser Cutter!
– Metal lave
– Manual mill

the list goes on and on…

The overall assortment of tools was astonishing. Nottingham’s hackspace now has around 350 members and counting. Their laser cutter was purchased from , who import laser cutters then modify and improve them before selling them on. The laser cutter runs from an RFID system linked in to the power cable, so members pay per hour of use. It is a really good idea especially seeing how you can keep track on who is using the machine.

Overall it was a very successful event. All of our questions where answered, giving us a lot more information than we started with. We would like to thank everyone there who showed us around and made us feel welcome. You can visit Nottingham’s Hackspace website here: or you can follow them on Twitter .

Just to round off the evening Nottingham Hackspace donated a used railway clock to us. A whole host of Arduino code is publicly available on Git Hub. Altogether as a group we can’t thank everyone enough especially James who helped answer our questions and everyone else who showed us around the space.

Cheers Nottingham 🙂

The railway clock in the back of Steves car

The railway clock in the back of Steves car

Visiting the Portland Works

Portland Works rooftop

A group of SHHM members met up to be shown around the Portland Works. It’s one of the key sites in Sheffield’s manufacturing history; among other claims to fame, it was the home of the first business to make the stainless steel cutlery that carried the city’s name into homes all over the world. It’s still used as a home for small manufacturers and artists, and the rolling refurbishment programme is doing a great job of keeping the character of the original buildings intact. Not normally open to the public, but well worth a look around if you can catch one of their open days.

Update:
Gee has a nice writeup and some great photos of the site on his blog.