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Yes, it is what you think it is! We're going to try and start an official HackADay hackerspace in Pasadena, CA!

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This project was created on 02/13/2014 and last updated 6 days ago.


We really want a hackerspace in Pasadena, since it has a good concentration of engineers and artists from Caltech, JPL and the Arts Center. We want the hackerspace for a number of reasons, we're hackers and we love to build stuff and the closest hackerspace to us is an hours drive away. So we're going to start our own hackerspace! This project will help us keep track of what we're doing, and we'll try and detail our process as we go.


Possible short term projects for the space:

  • 3D printer build
  • Small electronics projects
  • Laser cut Hackaday logo sign

Possible medium term projects for the space:

  • Machining enclosures

Possible long term projects for the space:

  • Cubesat / FM Repeater / OSCAR
  • Educational programs for the community


See all components

Project logs
  • Meetups at the HackAspace

    6 days ago • 0 comments

    Before all the building works get underway, we thought we'd squeeze in another little event at the space. We invited SGVHAK to host their regular meeting and we had a little show and tell. Some of the show and tell was recorded:

    Thanks @James McDuffie and @ldang for co-hosting with me, and everyone who brought something to show & tell. We hope to do more.

    If you are in the area and interested in coming to a meetup checkout these groups:

  • Mechanical work in progress!

    18 days ago • 0 comments

    Just a quick update.

    Final plans for the space have been agreed, we've figured out placement of all the tools, and we're working with mechanical engineers to get the actual design of the space turned into something that can be made. This will then move on to getting permits with the city and then we can start the build!

    Yesterday I spent some time with the designers planning the positions of every tool in the shop, so far we have:

    • 36" sawstop table saw
    • 4' x 8' PRSalpha shopbot
    • Roland MDX-540 mill
    • Roland MDX-40a mill (exclusively for PCB milling)
    • Bandsaw
    • Drill press
    • Drum sander
    • Belt + Disc sander
    • Bench grinder
    • Jointer
    • Manual Lathe
    • Panel saw
    Additionally over in the rapid prototyping room we have 2x 80w laser cutters and 3 3d printers of various types. Finally we have 5 permanent soldering and test equipment stations, and space for a modified toaster oven and hotplate for smd soldering.

    I can't wait to start ordering this kit and get in there!

  • Design update!

    4 months ago • 0 comments

    So the designers have been hard at work and have given us our first previews of what the new space might look like.

    We don't want to give the game away entirely yet, since there's a lot still undecided, but here's a plan view so you can get a bit of a feel for what we're going for:

    Bear in mind that this is just an initial mockup. Here's a quick rundown of the intentions for each area.

    Top left - main workshop. This will contain all the large dusty noisy tools. CNC, drill press, mill, lathe etc.

    Bottom left - loading dock and large project area. We're keeping this open, there may be some soft seating which can be removed when we're using this space for larger projects.

    Center top - kitchen area, below it some tall bar tables for eating and general work.

    Center bottom - main work areas, soldering and test equipment along left wall, pull up seating and workstations along bottom wall. Right area is all chalkboard and rudimentary library.

    Small rooms middle right - two small rooms here, one is a meeting room and the other is a 3d printing and laser cutting room.

    Small rooms top right - storage and toilets.

    Right window area - this is our main gallery and exhibition area. There will be some temporary movable seating here, but we'll also use this space for running events, exhibitions and there are some interesting plans afoot where we might projection map this entire space!

    So, as you can see, we're coming along. We're hoping to begin build out in early December, and maybe have some preview open days in late January!

View all 9 project logs


Ben Holmes wrote 6 days ago null point

Looking forward to everything. I will love it when it gets done just to have space and tools closer to home.

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Victor Frost wrote 5 months ago null point
Have you guys thought about making a small video space so people can make nice looking videos showing off their projects? Take a corner of the space, hang some rail lighting, a black plywood backdrop?

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Ben Delarre wrote 4 months ago 1 point
Yes, we're also thinking about a light box for shooting good photos as well. I also have some secret plans for helping users document their builds as well, but we'll have to wait and see on that!

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LordPharaoh wrote 6 months ago null point
I live near there, so this would be really awesome for me, but it really seems geared toward electronics hacking. Have you considered adding hand tools to the list? At least a few Dremel tools. Also, I'm assuming you mean to have more clamps and vices than you think you could ever possibly need but thought that would be obvious enough not to put on the parts list.

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Ben Delarre wrote 4 months ago null point
Yeah we are definitely planning hand tools, there'll be some basic dremels and other hand power tools, as well as more traditional tools too.

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Jonicus wrote 6 months ago null point
Hi Ben Delarre. Is there any way I could contact you? I have some things I would like to donate.

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Ben Delarre wrote 4 months ago null point
You can reach me on bdelarre(at) any time, but we're not taking any donations yet until we finish the initial build out.

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Ben Holmes wrote 8 months ago null point
I would suggest a few wooden and inexpensive plastic work tables for people to stand/sit around. The wooden tables would be a good project for new members to show their skills on. A few inexpensive folding chairs would also be good. Assembling projects on the floor always seems to end with slivers in my knees.

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Christopher Elledge wrote 8 months ago null point
I am a student at Los Angeles Valley College, and have access to a large scale cmc cutter and many other tools. This may be useful if you guys want to mass produce some open source furniture and tables to help you get started. Send me an email at, and I would love to get involved and help make this happen!

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Christopher Elledge wrote 8 months ago null point

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Jamie Krasnoo wrote 10 months ago null point
The Weller WESD51 is a great choice if you're willing to spend the money. I don't think it's overkill to stock with a high quality soldering station that is expected to last a long time. Going with a known brand is smart.

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Major Tom wrote 10 months ago 1 point
I agree, I used to have one and loved it. Sadly I left it in the UK when I moved out to the US so I've been living with a terrible chinese no-name one for now.

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zakqwy wrote 9 months ago null point
I've got the WES51 (non-digital version) and I'm quite happy with it. Finding tips is a bit confusing as there are many different Weller irons out there and their documentation isn't the best. Remember, Weller was bought by the Apex Tool Group (useful for Digi-Key parts sorting), and for the WES51 and WESD51 you'll want the ET series.

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Benchoff wrote 10 months ago null point
Here's something that I'd like to be at the top of the project list when we get up and running:

I've etched copper boards, and electroetched big pieces of brass. I would have killed for this machine at the time.

Sarah has some plastics connection, right?

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Sarah Wittman wrote 10 months ago null point
Sheet plastics. Not the PVC tubing or anything. Still cool, though!

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Sarah Wittman wrote 11 months ago null point
I'd love to be able to vacuum form stuff. Building a vacuum former will probably be one of my first projects at the space, anyway.

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Ben Delarre wrote 11 months ago null point
I liked the look of that rotocaster that Brian found at the Midwest Reprap Festival this weekend...

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Mike Szczys wrote 10 months ago null point
Yes the rotacaster is awesome. But you can't discount the value of a vacuum forming machine.

From what I've seen with DIY versions the issue is consistent heating across the entire material being formed. If one portion is hotter than the rest it will stretch more easily and you'll have thin places or holes. The actual vacuum bed itself is relatively simple to build.

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ClobberinCow wrote 11 months ago null point
This looks like an incredible project, makes me wish I lived in the Pasadena area still! A few items of equipment I might suggest is a dremel tool, router table, and a belt/wheel sander. Cuz, let's be honest, things rarely fit the 1st time... =P

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Ben Delarre wrote 11 months ago null point
Great suggestions! A belt/wheel sander is easily overlooked but oh so useful.

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FLAGG wrote 11 months ago null point
Some cool info here on Georgia Tech's Invention Lab wiki:

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Ben Delarre wrote 11 months ago null point
If we can get even half the equipment these guys have I think we'll be doing very well.

Anyone want to gift us an Objet printer, and a waterjet cutter? :-)

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arvz wrote 11 months ago null point
I think LA Robotics may have a space. I go to events hosted by them when I'm in LA. When I'm in SF there's a few spots I really like: Noisebridge, Ace Monster Toys and TechShopSF. Great spaces to scope out for ideas.

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Benchoff wrote 11 months ago 1 point
You're looking for 230V / 3 phase power, right? I've been cruizing the LA craigslist, and there's some *pretty* cool lathes and mills out there for the taking...

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Ben Delarre wrote 11 months ago null point
Yeah we've got 3 phase power in the new building, negotiating the contract now. Totally post over some links of any equipment you find - that's the next big hurdle for us to figure out. What are the essential tools?

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arko wrote 11 months ago 1 point
Can't wait!

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arko wrote 11 months ago null point
I live in Pasadena and work at JPL so it'd be easy to swing by :)

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Ben Delarre wrote 11 months ago null point
Hey arko, thats great. I hope you'll be at our first events when we're ready to open!

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tommietheturtle1 wrote 11 months ago null point
Is it likely that such a place will be opened in the Palm-beach, FL area in the near future and will it be free to use and open sourced,as far as the software and tech?

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Ben Delarre wrote 11 months ago null point
Maybe? Who knows! It all depends on how well this space works and what the demand is for more spaces like it. I think the best advice would be to try and gather as many people as possible to a local meetup or something and if a critical mass can be reached then I'm sure a hackerspace will popup as needed.

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Victor Frost wrote 11 months ago 1 point
Deezmaker does monthly hackerspace stuff. I'm actually going there tomorrow.

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Ben Delarre wrote 11 months ago null point
Yes they have a cool little space...but once a month isn't enough time in a hackerspace for me!

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Mike Szczys wrote 11 months ago 2 points
Yeah, a hackerspace in Pasadena is a great idea. I thought that clearing out a cube space to make room for the power mitre saw was not the best of ideas ;-) You need a dedicated space where you can make a real mess!

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Ben Delarre wrote 11 months ago 3 points
Haha yeah, you should see the looks of sheer horror staff in the office have when you power up a mitre saw in an office environment!

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