Yesterday I was writing and article on the Eco PiP Store in Braga, the first 3D printing shop in Portugal and, to give an idea of how widespread the 3D printing shop “craze” is getting, I wanted to conclude it by showing that all of Europe, from South to North, is similar in its desire to offer creative freedom through offering retail 3D printing. I thus set out to find the place farthest away from Portugal that might already have a 3D print shop.
I looked up Stockholm in Sweden, some 3500 km away, and guess what? I found the website of a 3D print shop that just opened and bore some striking similarities to the one in Portugal. Point proven. Makerspark can be interpreted as a “Makers’ Park” or the “Spark to Make” and in the interests of geographical fairness we’re here to inform you about what the shop’s founders are up to – including the similarities with the Eco PiP Store’s team.
Along with its 3D print service shop core, Makerspark is intended as a co-working space, a laboratory and a 100 square meters event venue attracting the Swedish capital’s population of creative artists and digital artisans. Through events, and in particular through a SEK 395 (approx €40) training workshop open to anyone, customers can learn the basics of 3D printing and make their first 3D print (if they subsequently decide to purchase a machine the course’s cost will be deducted from the retail price).
Those who already are familiar with 3D printing can simply rent a machine (at the Swedish Crown equivalent of €33 per house) and – if necessary – a consultant for about €66 per hour, for help in turning their digital ideas into real objects. Time estimates are supplied to those who send in their digital model files.
Like a FabLab, Makerspark’s co-working space offers laser cutters and CNC mills as well as 3D printers, and a marketplace for designers to exhibit and sell their products by renting out a store shelf. The store is ideally positioned in Kornhamnstorg, a notably touristy area in Stockholm’s old city. In this it differs from its Portuguese counterpart (located in a fairly remote part of the Iberian peninsula) but the spirit of shared creativity seems to be unified.