“This shop has been compensated by Inmar Intelligence and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MixxerCommunity #MakeStuffLearnStuff”
Can you imagine building beds for children in need of beds? That’s exactly what happened this weekend in Winston-Salem at The Mixxer Community Makerspace.
Immediately upon learning about MIXXER, I knew that I wanted to get our family involved, so we purchased a monthly membership and made a donation.
MIXXER is a space to exercise your creativity, try something new, without judgment. We all know that failure leads to discovery. What a great lesson to learn. In order to become an expert, you must first make and witness many mistakes. MIXXER has an unofficial motto: “We’ll do it wrong until we get it right.”
This week, I went to tour MIXXER, and while I was there, I had the privilege of meeting the founder and executive director, Alan Shelton. He spent a lot of time explaining their mentorship programs, volunteer opportunities, stories, and community with me.
The entire staff at The Mixxer Community Makerspace was wonderful. I could not have been more blown away by the passion, heart, and creativity of everyone that I met.
While I was there, I saw members from the local Habitat from Humanity, making keychains.
I saw people creating prototypes. There was a lady painting clothing. Alan even created a heated disinfecting box out of materials to allow people to heat items, that are otherwise hard to clean, until they are disinfected.
The Mixxer Community Makerspace, located at 1375 North Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Winston-Salem, NC 27101, is a giant space that provides access to Tech, Tools, and Community. Training on tools is included in the membership, as well.
What is MIXXER?
MIXXER is like a workshop away from home. Members can create just about anything! You bring the creativity and materials… MIXXER provides the tools and equipment, along with space. You can work on your projects, even leaving them there while you go home until you can come back to finish. Members are welcome anytime Monday through Saturday from 12:00 noon until 8:00 pm. It opens on Sunday at noon, but the doors close a little earlier, at 5:00 pm.
People that actively use their creativity are drawn to MIXXER so they can bring their ideas to life. When they become a part of the Mixxer Community, they find a body of people that gladly share knowledge. They find people that the volunteers and staff are people, just like them, who are just as interested in helping everyone. They are as excited about helping members with a project as they are about working & creating on their own.
What Kind Of Spaces Can You Find there?
Upon purchasing your membership (either individual, student, or one of the family membership options), you’ll find just about everything that you need to create just about anything that you want. What you create at MIXXER is totally up to you- just find the space & get to work!
OUTDOOR BLACKSMITHING AREA:
They have an area outdoors to create. Aside from their outdoor gardening area, they have a blacksmithing area, too! It’s awesome. It has several blacksmithing forges, anvils, and other tools.
This is perfect for anyone interested in design or fashion. If you are into fashion design, sewing, making things from fabric, then we have a great space for you. The Garment District is where you can find industrial sewing machines, and many of the accessories you’ll need to make something fantastic!
COMPUTER LAB & TECH LAB:
This lab is awesome! Create your designs in the computer lab & head over to turn them into reality in the tech lab. They have a Camera Lab with an already set-up area to allow you to get the best shots and videos. You can do over-the-top setups.
They also have a Computer Lab! Here are a few tools in these areas:
- Silhouette Cameo 3 Vinyl Cutter
- Multiple 3d Printers
- Electronics Workbench
- Laser Cutter
- Computers with design software (AutoCAD, Photoshop, Onshape, etc.)
- Electronics Lab with Computers
- Electronics Tools
- Photo Printer
- Robotics Tools
The Wood Shop is well-appointed with tools you can use to make furniture, knick-knacks, signs, doll furniture, cabinets, planters, decor, and all sorts of cool stuff.
Here are a few tools in this area:
- Professional quality woodworking tools
- Heavy-duty workbenches
- Dust collectors
- Secure space to store your project
This studio has multiple welders and other metalworking tools. They can have multiple people welding simultaneously. You’ll be on your way to creating metal art or fabricating cool stuff in no time.
- Welding and cutting equipment
- Sheet metal forming equipment
- Heavy metal workbenches
- Ventilation systems
Secure Space to store your project
FLEXIBLE COMMUNITY SPACE:
They have space for just about everything, including this flexible space including:
- Textile tools
- Solid worksurfaces and great lighting
- Comfortable seating
What if you need training?
MIXXER encourages safety, which is why they require all members to wear masks and safety gear when applicable. MIXXER promotes safety and offers safety training on-demand to those who are unfamiliar with the equipment.
If you need help, simply ask any staff member or volunteer and they will help you navigate the tools available. The staff and volunteers can help you with everything from sewing, wood-turning, blacksmithing, and so much more!
Training is helpful for everyone of every age. While there is no age limit to be in the shop and because parental consent and direct supervision are required for minors under the age of 16, parents and children can learn together.
COMMUNITY & EDUCATION:
STEAM Education Program:
This program is one that engages students in grades 6-12 for unique learning opportunities that they likely will not have access to in school.
The 2020 STEAM Education programs at MIXXER are a great way for students to earn Digital Credits. This allows the student to stand out in college admission processes. Students have year-round access to tech, tools, and a knowledgeable community of makers.
MIXXER launched a new initiative called THRIVE! They work with local nonprofit organizations to reach the people that they serve, invite them to a special event at Mixxer, and offer one-on-one mentoring opportunities for them to have a successful first experience making something at MIXXER.
They work with community partner organizations to continue to refine the program in order to serve more people. They are working with these organizations to help Mixxer establish a scholarship fund to assist people in need of financial assistance to have access to MIXXER.
Make stuff, Learn stuff!
DONATIONS & A VISION:
MIXXER’s vision is a world where anyone can have the opportunity to make anything. Donations make this more possible. Donations are accepted, gratefully, as they allow MIXXER to provide others with access to Tech, Tools, and Community.
MIXXER accepts all tax-deductible donations here. The donations make it possible for ordinary people to do extraordinary things! Through programs like THRIVE! and STEAM2020, beginners can connect with mentors to learn new skills and provide access to 6 -12 grade students with learning opportunities that public schools cannot provide.
Their program partners, Community Design Studio and A Bed and a Book combat poverty and provide unique educational opportunities throughout Winston-Salem.
MIXXER is a community maker space for technology & fabrication enthusiasts. A place where electronics meets welding, meets lasers, meets software, meets artist. An exploratory place where geeks and crafters collaborate to make cool stuff.
MIXXER is your COMMUNITY MAKERSPACE.
It’s time to MAKE STUFF! LEARN STUFF!
Note: Due to the pandemic, MIXXER is not currently offering in-person workshops, but they are offering online workshops.