Ballarat Hackerspace is my local nerd nirvana and I think it definitely deserves a write-up as it's one of the nicest spaces I've seen so far. It recently moved into a new location with a great open feel, lots of sunlight, plenty of space for projects of all sizes, and a really good selection of equipment with more being added all the time. It's also just down the road from my house which definitely helps.

It's a non-profit community group who have create a space for hackers/makers and anyone interested in tinkering and building cool things, no matter the skill level. There's everything from people learning how to solder or do woodwork, to people making their own robots and discrete electronics creations. You pay a monthly fee, and get access to various open days and event nights where you can either follow along with a workshop, or just head in and work on stuff yourself. There's also always people who are willing to help you out to learn a new piece of equipment or figure out aspects of your project that you're struggling with. You can also pay a bit more for your membership and get your own access to the space to work in your own time.

The latest addition is an 80W 900x600mm laser cutter, which I've just spent today playing with (separate post coming soon). There's also a variety of commercial and DIY 3D printers including a colossal new one under construction by members, as well as CNC routers, woodworking equipment, and enough tools and materials to build an army of robots and fully prepare for the AI-apocalypse. Most consumables are supplied with your membership, such as solder, wire, sensors, and a selection of SBCs and stuff.

There's also a decent collection of old/broken/abandoned/obsolete stuff in tubs that you can scavange from, which to me personally is awesome as I'm really into repurposing old electronics and making new things from "junk". Way too much technology ends up in landfill, when so much of it is almost infinitely reusable with a little bit of effort. I've already had a dig through and found lots of potential projects for the future... I just need to complete some of the massive pile of unfinished projects I've already got on the go, as always.

The monstrous DIY 3D printer the members are currently working on is seriously awesome too. It's dauntingly huge, and I'm sure the print-times will be just as daunting too. I'm really keen to see it finished though, and see what people come up with to print on a bed that size.

So far I've mostly just been tinkering with various small projects to get to know the place, but I have some ideas for bigger projects now that we're getting settled here at home and everything is basically unpacked. I've got a bunch of components on order for my robot which I'll start posting updates about sometime, and a few other larger project ideas I want to get going soon. The home workshop is also pretty much set up now, and hopefully I'll have a lot more updates coming from both the hackerspace, and the home...space.