In September Tony Buser
went to the World Maker Faire
in New York to show off a 3-D printer he'd built. While he was there he heard about maker spaces – places where people get together and create things – along the East Coast.
"It's also a place for people to collaborate, to share ideas, share what they're working on," he says. "A maker space is a place where you can be creative and make anything."
Buser thought it would be great to have a place like that in the Reading area, where he lives. He envisions a workshop with tools like laser cutters, CNC machines and woodworking supplies, where creative people could have a place to work on projects even if they don't have the space or money for that equipment themselves. Sometimes these workshops are called hacker spaces
, and some already exist in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Buser, who makes robot parts with his 3-D printer and sells them online, has gathered about 20 others interested in starting a maker space in the Reading area. For now the founders of Berks CoLab
– short for the Berks County Collaborative Laboratory – have storage and meeting space at the Reading law office
where Buser has a day job as a programmer. Their next steps are to secure status as a nonprofit and find a location for the maker space. Buser expects Berks CoLab to have its own home by midsummer.
"Reading has a lot of abandoned warehouses, and a space like that would be perfect for us," he says.Source: Tony Buser, Berks CoLabWriter: Rebecca VanderMeulen