In the middle of what can only be described as the busiest summer I’ve ever had, me and MS Raynsford (and Gill) went to the Manchester Mini Maker Faire to show off our laser cutters from Just Add Sharks. The annoying thing about MMMF is they like to pretend it’s a featured Faire and so run it over 2 days. This is very annoying and expensive for the exhibitors who are cooped up in the ridiculous grade 1 listed building of special scientific and historic interest 1830 warehouse venue where there is no ventilation, the lifts to the 5th floor are appalling for families with push chairs and you can’t have a bite to eat or a cup of tea let alone use a soldering iron. On what was the hottest day of the year rather than have us in the spacious courtyards we sweltered only being provided with Poundland fans and tiny bottles of water though the organisers made every effort to make us comfortable, their slavish insistence on this as their venue every year is getting tiresome.
Anyway being in Manchester and staying more than a day did afford us the chance to go visit with HacMan or Hackspace Manchester as they also like to be called. They are still more or less where they were when I blogged about them here though they have moved up a floor and a little to the left.
HacMan is well equipped with the usual collection of tools. Especially good is their Myford lathe. They have what Martin and I call a “blue and white horror” that Bob Clough has converted to use the LAOS board making it a rare example of an Open Source laser cutter “working” in a UK Hackspace. I put the working in ” because I was also told that the LAOS is highly unreliable in terms of programmed power and speed compared to say the more usable end of the locked down Chinese software controllers for lasers that seem to be so despised by the larger Hackspace community.
The communal areas at HacMan are well laid out with large work tables for a good number of hackers to work or socialise. They have a well run SnackSpace and plenty of Club Mate as the UK importer is local to Manchester. As I understand it HacMan has grown well in numbers of the last year though I don’t recall the membership numbers now I think they were nearer 50 than 15 (sorry didn’t make notes).
Open nights are Wednesday’s and they’d love to see you if you want to find out more.