State investment in hackerspaces to fuel innovation and creation

Queenslanders will have access to more spaces where they can collaborate on the design and manufacturing of new products thanks to the Palaszczuk Government’s Hackerspace Grants program.

Minister for Manufacturing Cameron Dick said 13 groups from Cairns to the Gold Coast will share in almost $220,000 under Hackspace Round 2 funding.

“Hackerspaces hold real value for our communities. They get people engaged with advanced manufacturing and help them gain the knowledge and skills needed for our jobs of the future,” Mr Dick said.

“This investment will see five new hackerspaces open and eight existing facilities expand, which is going to fuel more manufacturing innovation in our state.

“The grants will enable these community-focused spaces to buy equipment such as fabrication machines and 3D printers, and to run workshops and programs to educate industry and the community on advanced manufacturing.

“It’s great to help more of these shared spaces get started and grow, especially in our regions, so industry and community can collaborate on projects, embrace new technology and bring big ideas to life.”

Hackerspaces – community spaces where people can use shared equipment to develop projects, build products and tinker with technology – continue to grow in popularity as places to create, learn and socialise.

During a visit to Cloncurry Mr Dick announced $19,263 in funding to help establish the Cloncurry Hackerspace and to assist with their purchase of equipment to service the local mining, trade and industrial markets.

“This funding will enable the centre to buy a 3D printer and a protocycler, a machine that turns recycled plastic waste into 3D printer filament,” he said.

“It’s about putting the right tools and technology in the hands of more Queenslanders and cultivating an environment that fosters collaboration and creativity.”

Cloncurry Hackerspace Founder Paul Bashford said the equipment will complement existing recycling programs as well as expand their manufacturing capabilities.

“This funding will be instrumental for us to establish a hackerspace here in regional Queensland that will introduce advanced technology, inspire innovation and contribute to diversifying the economic development of our region,” Mr Bashford said

The Queensland Hackerspaces Grant program is an initiative of the Palaszczuk Government’s Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.

Groups awarded funding through Round 2 of the program include:

  • Gold Coast Tech Space, Mudgeeraba: $19,866 to purchase new equipment such as a five axis CNC milling machine, 3D printer, a desktop vacuum former to make larger smooth plastic moulds, and testing equipment.
  • Canvas Coworking, Toowoomba: $7385 to purchase a three-in-one printer, CNC laser engraver and laser cutting module, and to develop and implement a marketing strategy to attract members to the new hackerspace.
  • Substation33, Logan: $15,197 to purchase tools and equipment to enable members to conduct prototyping and small-scale manufacturing of designs, and to deliver monthly presentations from advanced manufacturing experts.
  • Arc, Fortitude Valley: $20,000 to expand the space and purchase an injection moulding machine and a robotic arm, providing opportunities for small batch manufacturing runs and increased local manufacturing openings.
  • HSBNE, Eagle Farm: $19,155 to expand and purchase a Robotec CNC sheet router – increasing the accessibility of advanced CNC manufacturing equipment to local manufacturers and members.
  • Sunshine Coast Maker Space, Warana: $14,376 to purchase a small desktop injection moulding machine – supplementing existing capability to allow for the production of more accurate moulds.
  • IMPACT Community Services, Bundaberg: $19,246 to purchase two 3D printers for the new hackerspace, which will help participants gain programming and prototype development skills.
  • Make the Maker, Bundaberg: $13,083 to purchase a 3D edible product printer, vacuum forming thermo plastic mould formbox, desktop PCB milling machine, and supporting tools and consumables for the new hackerspace.
  • Makerspace Mackay, Mackay: $20,000 to purchase additional tools and equipment to expand the facility’s resources and activity offering, allowing members to work on a wider range of projects.
  • Split Spaces Mackay, Mackay: $20,000 to deliver a STEAM-focused design challenge in collaboration with Central Queensland University, and for workshops on advanced technologies.
  • Smart Precinct NQ, Townsville: $11,529 to re-instate the Mixhaus hackerspace, purchase equipment and deliver advanced manufacturing workshops for young people, industry and the wider community.
  • TheMakers.Org, Cairns: $19,994 to purchase workshop tools including an automated ultrasonic cutter and cleaner, rotary polisher, CNC ethernet controller, 3D printer, mixed-reality design station, and supporting software.
  • Cloncurry Hackerspace, Cloncurry: $19,263 to establish a hackerspace, purchase new equipment and present manufacturing activities onsite.

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