As an attendee at Enablecon 2018, here are some of my observations. I was a first-time attendee and didn’t get to see everything. Please ask questions of anything that you found curious! Hopefully other attendees can add detail.
Digital Harbor Foundation
Before the conference started, some of us visited the Digital Harbor Foundation: This is a maker space for kids 18 and under. They assemble hands for the Enable Alliance. There are five 3D printers in the 6th grade-and-under room alone! I counted twenty-eight in the teen room along with equipment to learn about coding, prototyping, and more. There were about 4 trainers there already preparing for students to come in later. They were very welcoming to our questions!
They had two printers of the same brand as our school’s. They gave tips on how to improve our print quality. Please see a pic of one of theirs – it caught fire. They let me know that it was a firmware issue that they addressed right away by the manufacturer! Seeing what we can learn from things that don’t work is a valuable part of the learning process!
The big things that made this place special, was that there was a comfortable atmosphere for learning, all the tools available, and knowledgeable people there to get the kids started. It was lively, engaging, and just said “stay and play” to us.
The same engaging atmosphere was present when we visited The Foundry. The Foundry is a makerspace that had equipment for woodworking, embroidery, 3-D printers, sheet metal work, blacksmithing, and more.
The amount of equipment available for making your inventions come to life was impressive. They have training classes for all the equipment with sign-offs so you can work independently. There were people to teach skills and welcome people. However, they will not make the items for people- they want to interest you enough to learn to do it yourself.