The Maker Movement in Pittsburgh and How Pitt and PantherlabWorks Can Help!

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The Maker Movement is a modern outpouring of innovation. Different industries like Arts and Crafts, DIY, and even Mechanical Engineering come together as individuals creating new products all on their own. Countless innovations, products, and services have originated in makerspaces and grown into full careers and businesses over time.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Maker Movement, it’s referencing people making and selling new products, services, or innovations by themselves. These people are referred to as makers, and they often travel to dedicated spaces that have the tools that allow them to create new things in areas referred to as makerspaces, and there are hundreds throughout the United States. According to Popular Science, roughly half of American adults call themselves makers, as the expression of creativity is a common desire among all people.

Interested in being a maker yourself? There are a few makerspaces right here in Pittsburgh:

HackPGH is Pittsburgh’s oldest and largest makerspace. Located in Uptown, HackPGH features multiple 3D printers, a laser cutter, a woodshop with an extensive tool collection, a metalworking area with welding and machining equipment, various electronics, a fabrication area with an embroidery machine, and much more. HackPGH also offers classes that can help you to learn how to use the vast array of tools that HackPGH offers. If you want to create anything, it’s hard to go wrong with HackPGH.

Prototype is another Pittsburgh makerspace, with its emphasis being on Feminism. Prototype seeks to promote female empowerment in the Makers Movement by helping pave the way for more careers for women in technology and beyond. Prototype’s workshop features CNC tools, various electronic equipment, textile and jewelry tools, wood and metal working tools, and more. In addition, Prototype features a membership program whereby you can become a “Protobabe”, an education series of classes whereby you can become familiar and confident with using Prototype’s workspace.

The University of Pittsburgh Manufacturing Assistance Center (MAC) is Pitt’s own makerspace. As part of Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, the MAC serves as both an educational resource for students to master technical skills, as well as a makerspace for the community to innovate. The MAC features lathes, mills, drill presses, precision surface grinders, various electronics, and even formal classroom space for classes and other events. In addition to its manufacturing tools, the MAC works directly with PantherlabWorks to help develop the small business aspect to Maker Culture.

PantherlabWorks is the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence’s center to launch new technologies, services, and products into the marketplace. While not a physical makerspace, PantherlabWorks helps makers to understand the dynamics of new marketplaces, develop an effective go-to-market strategy, engage potential customers, and prepare to pursue outside investment. PantherlabWorks is the organization that will help take your creation to the next level.

The Maker Movement is spreading across the United States as individuals enjoy the freedom of creating and selling their own products, and we here at the IEE and PantherlabWorks can help turn your creation into a full-fledged business! If you’re interested in PantherlabWorks, please call in at 412-648-1544 or keep an eye on our Upcoming Events.

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