HackRVA is a member run and organized nonprofit makerspace located in Richmond, Virginia.
– I read the above, but, what are you exactly, whats going on?
We’re a makerspace/hackerspace(wikipedia). Sometimes we’re referred to as a gym for the brain, a clubhouse for nerds, a mad-scientists layer, or a preeminent basement . We’re essentially a space filled with tools, computers, and people interested in knowledge and hands-on experience. Members pay dues and that provides the money to keep the space going. We are run by volunteers who are also members. No one owns the space and everyone contributes as they are able to see it flourish. If you’re interested in a hobby or subject of knowledge that is technology or “makery” related you will likely find comradery here and a place to work on projects.
– Whats a good way to find out if HackRVA is a good fit for me?
First Thursday open house nights are a good time to mingle. Workshops are possibly even better since learning and doing is going on. Join our meetup group and watch for a workshop or event that interests you.
– What kinds of stuff are you mostly into?
We are broad-spectrum – interested in all forms of making. But, we tend to tilt toward computer related activities (code, networking, video games, digital creations), electronics, woodworking, metalworking, mechanical stuff, and adjacent nerdery. Tools, craft, code, engineering, science, and invention are at the forefront, but we also enjoy art, design,and all things fabricated and creative. For a complete-ish list, see the bottom of this page.
– I don’t know how to use these tools (*thing), will someone teach me?
Yes. We do this through workshops on a fairly regular basis, but more often we do it as a natural part of our community through one-on-one experiences. If you become a member, contribute to our organization, and are around enough to get to know people, someone will train you, show you, help you. Typically people get what they put in. Also, Saturdays are great day to learn tools – there are almost always knowledgeable people around willing to take 20 or 30 minutes to show you the basics. Watching youtube videos, reading about our tools on our wiki, and being willing to try new things also help and show initiative.
– I’ve never made anything before, will I fit in?
Yes and absolutely. Many of our most active members have never made anything before joining HackRVA. Some have since become maker addicts. You’ve been warned.
– Where are you?
Scott’s Addition behind the Dairy bar at 1600 Roseneath Road – Suite E, Richmond, VA 23230.
-Do you have open hours for the public?
Not really. Our members have keys and use the space at their discretion. No one works at HackRVA and we don’t keep regular hours like a business. If you’d like to visit, come by our First Thursday Open House at 7pm OR contact us and we can possibly arrange for someone show you around.
– Can I donate tools or materials to HackRVA?
Yes – go here!
– Can I teach a workshop?
Yes – most workshops are presented by HackRVA members, but we love any opportunity to learn. HackRVA is as much a place to teach as it is to learn, improve skills, and make stuff. Contact us if you’d like to host a workshop.
– What about kids?
HackRVA is adult oriented but we do have kid related events as our members are available to host them. We also support Richmond area STEAM related programs with support and promotion as well as contribute through events such as RVA Maker Fest.
– What are the rules of this land?
Go here for completed details on how being a member works.
– Where do I go to learn lots of other things about HackRVA?
Go to our wiki – its not always complete or up-to-date, but its where we huddle together to digitally organize the space. We’ve also littered the web with our offerings, most of which can be found by clicking through the links on the right side-bar of this website.
– Does HackRVA do projects for money for other people?
No. We’re not a prototyping business or service.
– Can I invent and prototype something at HackRVA?
Certainly. It happens fairly often with varying degrees of success.
– I’m a professional ‘X’ looking for a workshop, is HackRVA for me?
Possibly, but expectations should be managed. The place isn’t always clean (depending on standards), things get moved a lot, tools break and don’t get fixed until a member volunteers to fix them – stuff happens. HackRVA isn’t a professional shop. We aspire to ever better tools and organization, but with over a hundred members, things are always changing. On the other hand, we love it when industrial designers, maker-pros, artisans, artists, and other professionals of the maker world join our space. We revel in your shared knowledge and skills. And there are typically enough tools here to make most things with some patience. It’s not uncommon for our hardcore makers to keep a personal set of bits and blades around so they know it will work. Or even bring in their own tools.
– Your space isn’t giant and there’s a lot of people. Do you get crowded?
Typically, no. During the weekdays we are fairly quiet, some people come here for a co-working experience as they mash buttons on computers. Weekday evenings are often quiet, though we do have regular events you should check on before coming. Saturday afternoons and evenings tend to be busy and sometimes crowded (come in the morning to get the place to yourself). Sundays can be quiet or quite the ruckus. In general, we have enough room to do most projects, but we often have to get creative and some work is just best done outside, either because of scale or fumes or heat.
Our interests include:
- General Science and Engineering
- Open Source Hardware and Software
- 3D Printing
- Computer Programming
- IT Security
- Mechanical Engineering
- Soft Circuits / Wearables
- Arts and Crafts
- …And Much Much More!
You provide the enthusiasm and we provide the tools and community. Come visit us or become a member and let the joy of making begin!
HackRVA Labs, Inc. a is nonprofit corporation managed by a Board of Directors and organized exclusively for educational and scientific purposes as defined by section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations submitted to HackRVA Labs are tax deductible.