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Logo 350.gif
Status active
Country United States of America
State or District Michigan
City Ferndale, Michigan
Date of founding 2009/04/01
Last Updated 2023-05-13
Website https://www.i3detroit.org/
Wiki https://www.i3detroit.org/wiki/Main Page
IRC irc://irc.libera.chat/#i3Detroit
1(248)556-9995 (Email produces a faster response)
SpaceAPI https://i3detroit.org/spaceapi/status.json
git https://github.com/i3detroit/
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFCEtjml vbrEvd1RQfWNTg
EventBrite http://i3detroit.eventbrite.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/i3detroit
Twitter http://twitter.com/i3detroit
GooglePlus https://plus.google.com/communities/104840294758166473478
E-mail contact@i3detroit.com
Mailinglist http://groups.google.com/group/i3detroit-public
CalendarFeed iCal feed
Snail mail

1481-A Wordsworth, Ferndale
MI-48220 Ferndale, Michigan
United States of America

Number of members 200
Membership fee $59 per month (USD) (the only level of membership): 24/7 access to the space by RFID key, tool usage, member storage allocation, members-only discussion list access, class discounts, and invitations to members-only events.

$0 for guests: 24/7 access whenever your friend the member is around to host you as their guest. Full access to tools, but no storage, and cannot be alone in the space (must have a member present).

Size of rooms 7500 ft²
Members Mtfurlan, Myself
Open to Exchanges? Yes"Yes" is not in the list (yes, no, maybe) of allowed values for the "Exchanges" property.
Residencies Contact contact@i3detroit.org
Location 42° 27' 13.00" N, 83° 6' 48.64" W

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The Basics:[edit]

i3 Detroit is a member-run non-profit do-it-yourself collective based in Ferndale, Michigan. We have all the electronics and CNC capabilities typical of most hackerspaces, plus a large shop space for noisier, dustier work. Our main site is www.i3detroit.org, and updates are also occasionally posted to Twitter as @i3detroit.

The main room


In April 2009, our founder started a website and sent a bunch of emails to people in the community. Also, he listed i3Detroit on this wiki. Meeting weekly in a coffee shop, a small cadre of motivated individuals came together to identify our common goals and take steps to meet them.

On September 4th, 2009, papers were signed giving i3Detroit a lease on 1500 square feet in downtown Royal Oak. We spent the Labor Day holiday, and the following month, renovating the space and building it out. From paint and lightbulbs to drywall and stairs, there was a lot to build and fix.

The woodworking shop
Part of the machine shop

Our Grand Opening party took place on October 3rd, 2009 and officially opened the space. Jim Ellison, the mayor of Royal Oak, came out to perform our ribbon-cutting. (He used an oxyacetylene cutting torch to burn through a piece of ribbon cable stretched across our garage doorway. Why be boring?)

On March 31st, 2010, i3Detroit migrated to its new home in Ferndale, MI. More than 6,000 square feet larger, the new location has over 1,000 square feet of office space and roughly 7,000 square feet of warehouse floor. Amid the sound of saws and compressors, the new space and i3Detroit's first birthday were both celebrated with a barbeque on April 25th, 2010.

Present Day:[edit]

Part of the electronics lab (a.k.a. e-room)
The arts & crafts room

Currently, i3 Detroit hovers around 180-200 dues-paying members and a handful of regular guests, with several people in the space on any given night of the week. Weekends can be very busy. Recurring events and occasional classes dot the calendar, and we usually make a strong showing at local DIY-oriented events. This is nowhere more true than Maker Faire Detroit, where so many projects come from i3 that we get our own large tent each year.


Here's a sampling of what's in the space:

The 150-watt laser cutters.

Woodworking – Band saw, table saw, router table, scroll saw, drill press, planer, miter saw, lathe, circular saws, impact drivers, cordless drills, various hand tools, pneumatic nail guns, oscillating multi-tool, hardware area including copious screws and other fasteners.

Machine shop – Full-size (14x40") lathe, table-top mill, full-size Bridgeport mill, HAAS VF-3 CNC mill and pallet changer, granite surface plates, surface grinder, arbor presses, drill presses, Dake band saw.

Welding/fab - Sheet metal roll/brake/shear machine, sand-blasting cabinet, 300A AC/DC TIG welder, various smaller MIG/wire welders, plasma cutting torch, abrasive chop saw, numerous angle grinders, scrap metal stock.

Electronics – 3 temperature-controlled soldering stations, 14 wattage-controlled soldering stations, hot-air SMT rework station, vacuum desoldering station, numerous soldering aids and pick/pry/tweeze tools, solderless breadboards, prototyping boards, several lab-style power supplies, analog oscilloscopes, digital oscilloscopes, mixed-signal oscilloscope, function/arbitrary waveform generator, Open Logic Sniffer, Saleae Logic analyzer, Bus Pirate, AVR Dragon, AVRISP, PICkit2, numerous TTL-serial adapters (FTDI and similar), extensive stock of components (resistors including sub-ohm and multi-watt, capacitors from pF to 10F, prewound inductors and toroid cores, discrete BJT and FET transistors, hundreds of logic ICs and op-amps, hundreds of trimmers and panel-mount pots, thousands of LEDs)

Crafting - Husqvarna embroidery machine, Cricut cutting machine, Silhouette cutting machine, Singer serger, various small sewing machines, 34-inch vinyl cutter, heat presses, glue guns, Perler beads, numerous paints and brushes, easels, button maker, various basic supplies and tools.

Fab Lab – Two 150-watt laser cutters, one 40-watt laser cutter, Printrbot/LC 3D printer, Rostock MAX 3D printer, FSLaser Pegasus Touch 3D resin printer, LPKF Protomat C30/S circuit-board mill(needs repair).

The fabrication lab.
The member storage and wood shop.

Classroom - Quiet space with tables, chairs, projector, TV, plenty of outlets.


  • Folks at i3 have worked on Seltzer CRM a php-based simple internal membership info management tool.



As our membership grows, serendipitous personal connections get less guaranteed, and deliberate community is playing a larger role. Years ago, we appointed coordinators to serve as points-of-contact for individual zones within the space, and this has worked well. More recently, we've added explicit coordination positions for classes/events and a few other things, and this seems to be helping too.


  • Every year, i3Detroit has a large presence at Maker Faire Detroit, and this tends to generate most of our press coverage in any given year.
  • Unless, of course, Red Bull Creation is cranking the media-machine. We usually send a team to that, too.
  • Our halloween party is somewhat legendary. You're gonna have to find your own links for that one!
  • There are numerous classes and smaller events on the calendar, check the front page of our website.

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