Across the world, hundreds or thousands of people of all ages are now becoming actively engaged in a growing "culture of making" in no small part inspired by MAKE® magazine, the "21st century Popular Mechanics" magazine, and "Maker Faires®", now operating on five continents. This self-conscious, creative, tech-savvy, internet-connected "Maker Nation" is propagating a Third Industrial Revolution.
The Vision of the TekVenture sees a member-driven, regionally-centered, neighborhood-friendly, non-profit organization and facility interconnecting imagination, technology and community, by providing members access to tools and equipment they cannot afford to own, offering informal education to the public through technical workshops, and providing design, technical and prototyping services to artists, inventors, educators and entrepreneurs.
Founded in 2006, TekVenture has spent a decade attracting thousands of people to "make things," providing community-oriented, creativity-inspiring events including six years of Chain Reaction Challenge, five years of Maker Faire®s, three years of Taste of The Arts, an on-going association with the Allen County Public Library, (a documented association that directly influenced libraries through the US,) and since 2015, operating in a permanent 13,000 sq. ft. downtown facility at 1550 Griffin Street, all with volunteer labor, donated tools and facilities and virtually no funding.
Got something you want to make, a technique you want to learn or a tool you want to use? Come to TekVenture and start Making your future!
Tools, material donations and contributions to TekVenture, a 501(c)(3) Indiana nonprofit corporation, are welcome! Contact us for more information.
While searching for a permanent facility, TekVenture in partnership with the Allen County Public Library created the TekVenture Maker Station in a 50 ft. mobile classroom equipped with digital fabricating and rapid prototyping tools for public use. The Maker Station operated between 2011 and 2014.
At the Maker Station, interested library patrons including students, educators, and members of the public designed and made things using digital design and prototyping tools. While they developed facility and confidence in using these tools, they were mentored by staff and volunteers of TekVenture and the Machinists' Group of Northeast Indiana. “Makers” also learned about how these technologies are being used in shops and industries to manufacture things.
Now, a "work in progress," TekVenture features digitally-controlled rapid prototyping and "personal fabrication" tools including a CNC router and milling machines, 3D printers, metal lathe small injection molder, vacuum forming prototyper, welders, foundry and forges, electronics and robotics shops, wood shop, sewing center, vehicle bay, assembly areas and other tools for making things.
As an expression of the human "innovation gene", "maker" and 'hacker spaces" are a rapidly growing global phenomenon intersecting the growth of the internet, smaller scale digital technology and cheaper digital fabricating tools. TekVenture now provides NE Indiana residents another opportunity to get connected to the "Maker Nation" while developing their ideas and prototypes.
TekVenture has offered over 100 demonstrations and hands-on workshops to library patrons and the general public since opening in March 2012.
Like most "maker spaces" TekVenture offers memberships for individuals, families and groups for extended access and instruction on tools.
A visit to the TekVenture during open hours to see what is offered is free.