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Chamber Wants Makerspace to Encourage Innovation - KOAM TV 7

Chamber Wants Makerspace to Encourage Innovation

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Inside the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce's "Maker Space", Daniel Hawkins can use the industrial grade 3D printer to create small knick knacks and Hollywood blockbuster costume replicas. 

"But in the future, it will be producing prototypes that will be used in manufacturing equipment, or in automotive industry," Hawkins said. 

He owns a small business making replica movie props and custom costumes. He's also the "Lead Maker" for the Joplin Makers; a small handful of amateur and professional engineers, inventors, and artists. 

"We exist to help people basically build anything that they want," Hawkins said. "So if you have an idea, but you don't know how to make it happen, you know, we exist to enable you to see that idea come to life and to be made into a real physical thing."

It's a project of the Joplin Area Chamber, allowing people to use it's roughly 5,000 square foot makerspace. Though it's still filling the facility with bought or donated equipment. 

"As we get more equipment in here it will give them the opportunity to actually build those prototypes and just to kind of tinker a little more," Brian Kelly of the Joplin Area Chamber said. 

Once it's fully equipped, the chamber has plans to open up the makerspace to the community. Possibly allowing access for a small monthly fee.  

"At the very least we would love to see people prototype some things and them go off and start a business with that prototype," Kelly said. 

"So that can be some prototype, game-changing idea that you may have had for a long time and you haven't been able to realize. Or maybe something as small as a little art sculpture," Hawkins said. "Very technological and industrial, all the way down to just a hobbyist level experimentation. the whole gamut."

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