"A maker," Chatt*lab President Jeff Johnson says, "is anybody that wants to tinker, invent, create... watch people make stuff, learn how to make stuff, [or] teach people how to make stuff."
Their makerspace on Chattanooga's North Shore is about 3,000 square feet of tools for woodworking, metalworking, 3-D printing, electronics and more.
"Anything that you want to make that can fit in this area and isn’t too caustic or too damaging to the environment in this space, we encourage you to come make," Johnson says.
Chatt*lab members are part of a growing, nationwide maker movement propelled, in part, by 3-D printers and other technology becoming cheaper and more accessible. President Obama recognized the movement in 2014 by hosting a Maker Faire at the White House.
Chatt*lab is located on Chattanooga’s North Shore in the Hamilton County Business Development Center. They’re a member-supported nonprofit, and Johnson says membership dues go toward paying rent, and purchasing new tools and equipment. People interested in checking it out can attend open meetings that happen every Tuesday evening.
Chattanooga's Mini Maker Faire is coming up September 9, 2017, and Chatt*lab will participate in the Robot Battles event and host a booth with various demonstrations like 3-D printing whistles for children, showing off a Nintendo Retropie, and more.