Local Lowdown: Santa Barbara Hackerspace Helps Tool Locals for Success

Posted on Apr 4 by SEASONS Magazine

Santa Barbara Hackerspace, courtesy photo.

Santa Barbara Hackerspace, courtesy photo.

How many times has it been said that we’re only limited by our own imaginations?  For the past six and half years, a local nonprofit organization has given locals the tools they need to bring their own dreams to life.

Founded in August 2010, Santa Barbara Hackerspace is a member-based incubator for ideas. Having started out as a workshop in founder’s Mike Bale’s one-car garage, the organization now occupies a 4,000-square-foot industrial space in Goleta that is not only filled with the equipment and tools needed to bring even the wildest ideas to life, but also a home for several technically-minded start-up small businesses.

“The idea behind Hackerspace is to give people the resources they need for their own ideas,” Bale explains. “The driving force is to make sure people have what they’re looking for. That might be a tool or it might be other people to bounce ideas off of. We also do classes from time to time.”

Santa Barbara Hackerspace supports a wide variety of pursuits—everything from arts and crafts endeavors like sewing, jewelry making and woodworking to more technical undertakings like electronics, such as the design and production of weather balloon trackers as well as a couple of game-related software projects.

In Santa Barbara Hackerspace’s toolbox are scanners and printers, computers loaded up with development software, a forge and anvil, just about every power tool known to man and even a Scanning Electron Microscope.

“That’s probably the most impressive piece of equipment we have,” Bale says. “It’s the size of three refrigerators lined up side by side and allows you to see down to the angstrom level. It’s a nice showpiece for what we’re all about.”  

Santa Barbara Hackerspace, 5782 Thornwood Dr., Goleta, 805/242-2533, sbhackerspace.com.

Brett Leigh Dicks

Originally published in the Spring 2017 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.

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