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Artisans at work in the new Build, RVA space (Photo courtesy Build, RVA)
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A 3-D printer at Build, RVA (Photo courtesy Build, RVA)
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Photo courtesy Build, RVA
Have an idea for a project you’ve been itching to work on, but don’t have the space or equipment? You can now turn that sewing project or furniture refinishing plan into reality at Build, RVA, a new public workshop and product incubator in Scott’s Addition. Equipment such as sewing machines, 3-D printers, laser cutting systems, woodworking and metalworking tools, and electronics work stations are available to members in the 10,000-square-foot building. There’s also office space available for professional makers.
Turning the phrase, “If only I had access to ____, I could make or repair this myself,” into a feasible concept was the goal for Mary Arritt, formerly of the Martin Agency and co-founder of the RVA Makerfest. Along with scientist and inventor Jonathan Frey, she developed Build, RVA.
“It’s about stimulating creativity and imagination,” Arritt explains. “A lot of people don’t think they have the creativity, but everyone has it.”
She says the idea for Build, RVA came from being involved in the maker community and hearing many times that people were frustrated by not having a central location to work and that equipment was too expensive for those struggling with college debt.
Arritt wanted everything to be under one roof, with lawyers, accountants, insurers and a scientist-in-residence available to provide guidance. Build, RVA also offers classes free to members. Topics range from how to file a patent to creating boat-inspired furniture.
Arritt calls Build, RVA a group of “like-minded souls … who are passionate about making things” and emphasizes the importance of “putting the tools in the hands of many.”
Membership is available on a monthly or yearly basis and offers full access to the facility for $100 a month. Those interested in membership can attend weekly open houses on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Build, RVA is located at 3301-C Rosedale Ave.