Artisan's Asylum

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Artisan's Asylum
Status active
Country United States of America
State or District Massachusetts
City Boston
Date of founding 2010/05/01
Last Updated 2023-10-27
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10 Tyler Street, Somerville, MA
02143 Boston
United States of America

Number of members Over 300 monthly members, over 1500 on mailing lists"Over" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 300.
Membership fee Shop use plans run from $150 per month for unlimited 24/7 use to $60 per month weekend rates, to $85 for a 5-day pass. Discounts available for low-income folks.
Space rentals range from 50 - 250 ft² and $100-$450/month.
Classes usually range from free to around $300.
Size of rooms 40,000sqft
Location 42° 22' 53.97" N, 71° 6' 18.33" W

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Founded in a 1,000 square foot space in May of 2010, Artisan's Asylum has quickly grown to become one of the largest makerspaces in the United States. As of October 2012, we are a 40,000 square foot space with around 250 monthly members, 119 rental studios, and all kinds of project storage space. We run 20-25 long-form craft classes and hold another 10-15 safety training sessions each month. We have woodworking, metalworking, machining, welding, bike repair, sewing, lampworking, jewelry, electronics assembly, 3D printing, and painting/finishing areas, all under one roof.

Our facility boasts geothermal cooling, 15' to 25' ceilings, concrete floors, loading docks, 300 kVA worth of electricity, and off-street parking lots. We have a uPrint 3D printer, a SawStop table saw, a 5'x10' MultiCam metal-cutting gantry router, a 2-axis CNC mill, 4 welding bays with OSHA-grade ventilation, a 10-computer lab with Solidworks, and much more.

Fun projects we've done as a space include:

  • Creating 15' long, 10' tall rubber duck boats
  • Designing and building a 25' long rideable dragon sculpture that lit up from the inside
  • Building a Wallace and Gromit-inspired breakfast assembly line for a hackerspace challenge
  • Designing and building a giant laserharp for a Radio Shack design challenge
  • Designing and building a 4,000 pound, hydraulic hexapod robot named Stompy

The Boston Globe put us in their Best of the New for 2010, the Weekly Dig voted us one of the Best of 2011, the Improper Bostonian said we had the best adult education classes in Boston in 2012, Fox News covered us carving pumpkins with chainsaws at the city's Halloween event, and we've been filmed for an upcoming documentary on the hackerspace movement.

Here's our vision statement:

The Mission

  • Make creativity a way of life.

The Goals

  • Found a place that inspires people to learn new skills, pass on skills to others, and create for the sheer joy of it.
  • Lower the barrier to impulsive creativity to as close to zero as possible.
  • Encourage the growth of an inclusive creative community that is always looking for new members.
  • Provide the inspiration, education, and audience necessary to allow people to make a living off of the work they do with their hands.

Some Methods

  • Provide structure to build on, through skill-based classes, results-based classes, and group cooperative projects.
  • Provide training and informal help with tools and projects.
  • Have all the tools, raw materials, and storage needed on-site.
  • Make sure the tools are high quality, well maintained, and well organized.
  • Foster community by casting a wide net, asking for help, listening to feedback, involving everyone, and having awesome parties.
This Hackerspace has a Lasercutter

This Hackerspace has a 3D Printer

This Hackerspace has a CNC

This Hackerspace has a Drill Press

This Hackerspace has a Lathe

This Hackerspace has a Welder

This Hackerspace has a Soldering Iron

This Hackerspace has a Sewing Machine

This Hackerspace has a Serger