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Things are buzzing at Hive 13 Hackerspace

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Jason Bailey lives in downtown Cincinnati and likes to make stuff, or take it apart and see how it works. But that's not too practical in his home. That's why he and more than a dozen thinkers and doers have a assumed a spot in a former Camp Washington factory building forming Hive 13, a space where members are free to create or decimate however they choose.

Hackerspaces are well established in Europe where some of the first were founded in the late 1990s. But the U.S., and specifically the Midwest, is catching up with its own spaces. There are hackerspaces planned or running in Dayton, Columbus, and Cleveland.

What exactly is a hackerspace? It "can be viewed as an open community lab, workbench, machine shop, workshop and/or studio where people of diverse backgrounds can come together to share resources and knowledge to build/make things," according to Wikipedia.

Hive 13 (think Hive 1-3 like Cincinnati's area code 513) is this city's first, and has 15 paying members who can access the 3,500 sq. ft. space 24 hours a day with a digital key.

"It's really a collective meeting space for tech enthusiasts, a shared workshop. It's a mindshare community. One of the reasons you go there is not for access to physical space but also the brains of the other people," said Bailey, an IT manager with Amazon.com in Hebron.

Among the members are tech geeks, artists, retirees and college students. Most people bring their own work tools, but Hive 13 has some onsite tools either purchased or donated like soldering irons and power tools.

Ongoing projects include 3D printers that print out plastic 3D designed shapes.

"The goal is to come up with an idea design on 3d print prototype in plastic, cast it in metal and actually build things," Bailey said.

Hive 13 has an open meeting night each Tuesday for the public or potential members to see what a hackerspace is all about.

Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Source: Jason Bailey, Hive 13 president
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