The do-it-yourself movement is old news for those who grew up in rural areas and learned to fixand build things - tractors, barns, plumbing, swing sets - because they had to. As D.I.Y. caughton with the urban hipster, problems arose over where to put the table saw, lathe and solderingiron in an 80-square-meter apartment.
Yair Silbermintz, who lives in an apartment in Fair Lawn, a New Jersey suburb about 30kilometers west of Manhattan, discovered MakerBar, a converted factory space in nearbyHoboken. The loft is packed with workbenches and metal shelves crammed with supplies andtools like a drill press and a 3-D printer, The Times reported.
"I walked in and thought: 'Oh, they have this. Oh, they have that,'" Mr. Silbermintz told TheTimes."I finally have the ability to make the things I want to. "
Hacker spaces like MakerBar - where tinkerers gather to build or take things apart - were firstfounded in places like San Francisco and Brooklyn, where living spaces are small and realestate is expensive. The 200 or so hacker spaces across the United States are a stand-in forthe home workshop.
"The 1950s version of tinkering was doing it in your garage," Dale Dougherty, who foundedMake magazine and its popular festivals known as Maker Faires, told The Times."Sometimesthese hacker spaces are not much bigger than a garage. But people can't organize their homeinto a workshop."
For those interested in building big, say furniture or playground equipment, there is JackSanders's Heavy Metal camp, a three-day design-build workshop on his two-hectare ranchnear Austin, Texas, where participants learn welding, The Times reported.
On a recent weekend, five campers were taught how to anchor metal pieceswith a tack and how to draw a bead, as well as welding terms like"inclusions" (pieces of slag that bubble up and turn your weld into some horribletumescence) and"quenching" (dousing a hot object in a bucket of water).
And Mr. Sanders has some basic rules."Never panic," he says."That's prettycritical. Sparks are flying. It's loud. People get into trouble from overreactingto the sparks."
He added:"Things take place right beyond your comfort zone. And rightbeyond that is injury or death."
The campers took home creations like a metal coat rack, a cedar plank bench and a bar table.
Sylvia Todd prefers to tinker with small robots, and her desk at home in Auburn, California, isfull of them, including a solar-powered grasshopper. Her workspace is cluttered with motors,wires, a soldering iron and other gadgets and tools, The Times reported.
She has attracted more than 1.5 million YouTube views of the show she produces with herfather,"Sylvia's Super-Awesome Maker Show." She is sought after for speaking engagementsand even addresses TEDx conferences.
She won a silver medal at an international robotics competition in mid-April and then was at theWhite House Science Fair, where President Obama tested her project, a robot that paints.
And she has yet to turn 12.
She caught the D.I.Y. bug when her father took her to a Maker Faire in San Mateo, California,when she was 5.
"Ever since I was really young I liked destroying stuff," Sylvia told The Times."I've always beeninterested in making and doing things hands-on."