One of these days I’ll complete my journey of going to every restaurant in Wichita so I’m going to need more to write about. Why not ‘things to do’ in town? I reached out to Facebook to get suggestions on more experiences around town people may not know about. One of those recommendations was MakeICT. I was invited out to their Maker Monday Open House that takes place every other Monday to get a better look at what exactly goes on inside this makerspace. So here’s the latest blog covering MakeICT.
1500 E Douglas Ave
Wichita, KS 67214
Open 24 hours a day
First of all, what is MakeICT? Here’s how they describe it.
MakeICT provides resources and activities to help members of our community create. Our flagship program is the MakeICT makerspace – an 8,700 square foot facility which is home to several different areas filled with tools and equipment. It’s sort of like a gym, but instead of equipment for building your body, we have equipment for building things – whatever it might be!
MakeICT is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and is operated entirely by volunteers. It’s our mission to innovate, learn, and build community at the intersection of art, technology, science, and culture.
For just $25 month, you get access to the MakeICT makerspace which is open 24 hours a day.
I’m not a handy person when it comes to tools and making things so I stopped by their open house and checked out everything they have to offer. When I arrived, I had to sign an online waiver form and go through an orientation of what MakeICT is, the rules, how everybody there is a volunteer and the inner workings of how the space operates. Then it was on to the tour!
Keep in mind that everything seen here is part of your membership. Of course in many of those situations, the materials is a cost you have to take on.
Here’s a glimpse of some of the things offered at MakeICT. First up was some 3D printers. They had a few on hand. I have always been fascinated by 3D printers and have been contemplating on what I would make if I had access to one.
Next up was the textile room. Here they had all the sewing equipment one would need. I don’t know how to sew but remember watching my mom do it back in the day. We used to have a sewing machine growing up but weren’t allowed to touch it.
We stopped by a pottery room where people were not reenacting the scene from Ghost, I was disappointed. I never took pottery in high school. If you ever want to try this out, I believe they have a group pottery class every Tuesday or Wednesday evening. You’ll have to check their calendar.
We also saw a machine that was able to cut through metal. So if you had some sheet of metal and wanted a design cut or something, this could do it. Our guide was walking us through the machine and admittedly half of it went over my head. Fortunately they have people there trained to use everything and are there to help clueless souls like me out.
There’s also a woodshop available that could do nearly everything you ever wanted. One of the cool things I loved was a machine that could etch and cut anything into a piece of wood. If you look at the circular sign in the picture, that was all done by the machine seen in the same picture. It’s amazing how cool technology is.
This machine can cut into materials like acrylic. Some gentleman was already using it to make some products for his company. I found it really interesting that many people who operate small businesses out of their home were using this space. It’s really great for entrepreneurs.
They also had other areas like screen printing where you could make your own shirts, sweatshirts, etc. I was really amazed at how much they were able to fit in 8,700-foot-square space. And for the membership to be only $25, that was an incredible value.
I grabbed my sign up sheet and hope to go back soon to join and really do a full write-up on what I learned there. There are some training classes you need to take before using the equipment and they cover all of that in the new member orientation. If you check out their website, they also have some classes that are for non-members. Of course it’s slightly cheaper than the member pricing but it’s a great way to check out the MakeICT building if you haven’t gone before. Remember that every other Monday is also Maker Monday Open House that’s free and runs from 7-8pm.
Overall, just a really cool addition to our city. Check it out!
Have you gone? What do you think? Feel free to post in the comments your thoughts!
Something cool in Wichita we should check out? To nominate your business or event to be considered for a review, please email us with your information. We are always open to suggestions.