Cambridge Makespace

Where do inventors go in Cambridge when they want to build their prototypes? I always assumed that they would potter down to their shed, or perhaps into their garage, but it turns out not every inventor has a 3-d printer or industrial lathe or laser cutter at the bottom of the garden.

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One of our students (now ex-students), the inestimable Yuji Ishikawa of Toshiba, discovered the answer. He spent quite a few evenings at the Cambridge Makespace on Mill Road, busying himself with the various software tools they have there, and seeking the company, I suppose, of like-minded individuals (Yuji is not an inventor, so far as I know; but he is an R&D software engineer working in the field of computer vision and self-driving cars).

Makespace is a 4000 sqft workshop stacked with the sort of tools you can only operate if you tuck your tie into your shirt: band saws, circular saws, drill presses, lathes, mitre saws, a glass-working kiln, a grinder, and so on. They also provide electronics workbenches, a vacuum former, 3-d printers, CAD workstations. And a sewing machine.

The space used to be part of the Institute for Manufacturing (a faculty of the University of Cambridge), and is available to members only (on a minimum three-month membership). I do not know that we have many students in need of a glass-working kiln, but it is nice to know where to go if the inspiration strikes.

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