Ferndale makerspace looks to double in size, add new technology and equipment

A Ferndale maker space has the opportunity to increase in size and scope, but they need the public’s help to do so.

i3Detroit was founded in 2009. The non-profit organization offers space and resources to area makers, artists, and craftspeople from its Ferndale shop on Wordsworth Street.

A neighboring business vacated its space, allowing i3Detroit to expand its footprint. The organization has partnered with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to help with the costs, joining its placemaking initiative Public Spaces Community Places.

As part of the program, i3Detroit has until Saturday, Oct. 5 to raise $50,000 through a crowdfunding campaign that rewards donors with gifts that include t-shirts, tutus, and letterpress postcards and note cards.

Should i3Detroit successfully reach its fundraising goal, the MEDC will give the organization a $50,000 matching grant.

The crowdfunding campaign is being hosted on the Michigan-based Patronicity platform, which is available here.

"These funds will help i3Detroit add to and update infrastructure, build out new and expanded zones and purchase equipment," says Jan Henry, director of i3Detroit.

"We are so grateful to the Public Spaces Community Places program."

The list of new equipment is an impressive one. According to the organization, funds raised will go toward the purchase of new laser cutters, a CNC lathe and CNC router, an auto lift and engine hoist, paint and finishing booth, powder coat booth and oven, CNC plasma cutter, and more.

The funds will also go toward clean-up and build-out materials like flooring, fixtures, and paint.

"Creating a supportive environment for local entrepreneurs is key to great placemaking," says Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League.

"This makerspace will provide startups and artists with the tools and training they need to launch and grow their businesses."

i3Detroit is located at 1481 Wordsworth St. in Ferndale.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.