Just over a year ago, I don’t think I could have created this map… but here’s the current list of hackerspaces/makerspaces (that I know of) in Wisconsin. Some are well established, and some are just getting started. Either way, if you’re looking for a group of people and/or a space to hack/make things, here’s a guide.
I’ll start in Milwaukee, where we have both Milwaukee Makerspace and Bucketworks…
Bucketworks has been around (in various locations) since 2002 and besides being the venue for BarCampMilwaukee for the past 6 years, it’s also a great place for co-working, meetups, hackathons or other creativity-related activities.
The Milwaukee Makerspace as a group has been around for about two years, but just got their space less than a year ago. In that time they’ve managed to build up membership and acquire quite a list of impressive equipment. If you’re into physical making of things in the areas of electronics, robotics, woodworking, metalworking, 3D printing, electric vehicles or any sort of building/making, it’s an awesome place filled with smart people.
Over in Madison we’ve got Sector67, which is more of a “community workshop” where pretty much anyone can come in off the street and work on a project. If you want to be a member, you’ll help keep the place alive, and gain other privileges, but if you just need help on a project, show up and see what happens. They’ve also got some private space set aside as a small-business incubator.
Up in Appleton we’ve got a group known as The DHMN (which stands for “Distributed Hacker/Maker Network”) The DHMN doesn’t have an actual space yet, but they’ve got some dedicated and enthusiastic members who meet regularly and are slowing building up members so they can someday have a permanent space.
MakeBit is just a bit south of Appleton in Fond du Lac. I don’t know a whole lot about MakeBit, but Tim Bertram is the guy behind it, and hopefully he can make it happen get a space at some point. (Right now it seems they are just gathering interest, which is definitely the right way to do it.)
A bit north of Milwaukee and Madison (and about the same distance from each) is the Beaver Dam Makerspace. Hacker/Maker Jason Gullickson is the guy behind this space. I say “space” because it appears they do have a space thanks to some solid connections in the city, but they’re still finding people interested in being members. I’m hoping we see some action here in 2012.
The newest group/space I’ve heard about is the Wausau Collaboration Center. The folks behind it seem pretty focused on making it happen, and seem to be following along the lines of Sector67’s “community workshop” idea. This isn’t surprising, as many of the people involved in these groups/spaces have met each other, know each other, or someone influence each other. (That’s probably a good thing!)
Oh, there’s a few more spaces mentioned on hackerspaces.org but the domains seem to be gone and I’ve never heard of them.
And if I missed any, let me know! I’d like to eventually visit them all, meet the people behind them, and maybe even get stamped.