|Bangkok's maker community went from almost zero to impressive in just one year.|
What They've Done So Far
All three makerspaces organize regular workshops to teach beginners how to get into different aspects of the maker movement. And together with makers in Chiang Mai and industry partners, they have even organized Bangkok's first "Mini-Maker Faire."
|Thailand's makerspaces united for Bangkok's first Mini-Maker Faire.|
|Maker Zoo hosted Thailand's first Hebocon robot competition. It served as an icebreaker event to get ordinary people involved with making technology, hands-on.|
Today, these 3 makerspaces have been joined by others, including NE8T, a co-working space with fabrication services onsite, and PINN Creative Space, a full-fledged, well-equipped makerspace on Rama 9 across from Fortune IT Mall (and Home of Maker) that also hosts workshops and provides fabrication services including laser cutting, 3D printing, and even has a large collection of sewing machines.
|PINN Creative Space is the latest addition to Bangkok's growing maker community.|
|Thailand's first DIYbio lab was only possible because of the growing maker community in Bangkok. Access to electronics and 3D printing allowed F.Lab to create its own pieces of lab equipment, some in as little as a single day!|
Maker Zoo is run by hardware/software developers who have experience in product development and prototyping. Home of Maker was created by a successful electronics company and creator of the Arduino Nano, and serves as a storefront for Gravitech as well as a makerspace. PINN Creative Space is a continuation of a successful DIY brand in Thailand that already has a strong arts and craft following. And Fab Cafe has become an ideal meeting place and workshop venue for a large number of different groups.
What's Coming Next Year?
It is clear that Bangkok now has a strong foundation to build on. Next what is needed is a focus on expanding the maker movement in Bangkok and beyond.
This means that each makerspace must look at the consumer mind-set of most people in the city, and think of ways they can use their unique backgrounds to tempt consumers over into becoming producers. This includes not only individuals, but also companies and institutions that rely heavily on others to design, develop, and "make" things for them.
|Maker Zoo regularly conducts 3D design and 3D printing workshops, where over an afternoon, people learn how to design in 3D and then print them out as physical objects.|
Collaborations both among makerspaces and with more traditional institutions to prove the practicality of personal manufacturing, DIY prototyping, and the maker ethos will also go far in cementing the maker movement here in Thailand.
Who knows? Maybe by the end of next year, these makerspaces will each have their own burgeoning maker communities growing around them, and together they will make up a much larger maker movement across Thailand, and the region. We may see additional labs, the appearance of "Fab Labs" or microfactories, or something else we haven't even thought of yet.
If these makers work as hard next year as they have this year, anything is possible. So stay tuned, or better yet, drop by a makerspace and get involved too!
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