The Wonders of Laser Cutters


There are a few tools that every makerspace will probably have: a 3D Printer, a CNC Router, and a Laser Cutter. Our space has 2 out of 3, but that last one, the Laser Cutter, is something our members and community has wanted access to for a long time. There is certainly a lot a maker can do with a 3D Printer and a CNC Router, but the the 3D Printer is limited to plastics, and the CNC Router takes some finesse to get good results. A Laser Cutter is more hobbyist and beginner friendly for cutting out designs for assembling or engraving on a wide variety of materials. It’s an excellent design tool for students and professionals. You can see a bunch of sample projects in this video from Origin Laser.

That’s why we’re organizing a fundraising campaign through our website! By going to this page, or scrolling down a little, you can donate money towards the purchase of a laser cutter for the makerspace! There are various donor levels to say thanks and allow those who donated to have access to the laser cutter once we have it. Please check it out today and donate if you can! Even a dollar will help!

Laser Cutter

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Donation Total: $35

More CNCs in progress

More CNCs in progress

Paul and Alex are working on getting this thing working! When it’s all together it should be a CNC Mill, great for making all your metal parts.

This hardware was donated awhile back and like many projects collected a healthy patina until this week. When we took it out of its dusty resting place, we did a assessment of what it needed. Turns out most of the machine was there, but it needed one leadscrew for the Z axis, and a couple more motors.

Luckily for us we like to save parts for a rainy day, and we happened to have TWO leadscrews that were bigger than the original and TWO motors. Paul did some machining to the various parts to accommodate the new leadscrews and nuts, which took a half hour on the Bridgeport. The new nuts were epoxied in place (the originals were threaded in), and waited for it to dry.

Now most of the hardware is in place, the rest is electronic! It came with a HobbyCNC control board and a power supply, but we need wire for the motors. We’ll likely also need end-stop switches. And the final crucial component is the spindle… which it did not have. May have to scavenge through the parts bins for a good spindle!

If you’d like to contribute to this build, you can make a donation here to help us get new parts!

What Wood Andrea Works With

Our Wood Shop is probably the most popular part of the Makerspace. It’s pretty obvious why, out here there are tons of hobbyists and professionals working with the wood that is in great supply. There’s also just something about wood working and the culture of New England that goes well together. The DIY spirit is well-entrenched in the people around here.

Below are some photos of projects one of our members has put together with the aid of our Wood Shop space and tools. These are all works by sculptor and artist Andrea Thompson. You can see more of her work on Andrea comes to our wood shop infrequently, but when she does it’s usually with a fairly big project. The boards you see below were sanded down on our Performax Drum Sander to get them good and cleaned up. With most of them being over 5 feet tall, it made things much easier to feed the boards through the sanding machine compared to palm sanding them.  The tall planks themselves are from oak beams salvaged from the Boston Navy Yard after 200 years of underwater storage.
She has dubbed these pieces A Live Oak Dreams of Going to Sea.


These are part of another series she made with tools from our wood shop. The boats are made of cedar and had their rough shapes cut out on the bandsaw; some of the cedar came from our handy neighbors at Ricci Lumber.
She calls this series The Unlikely Vessels




See more of Andrea Thompson’s work

See the next Intro to Woodworking class and other classes

Teach a Course!

Do you have some skills you could share with the Port City Makerspace Community? Teaching a course is a great way to build community and make a little money on the side. If you have a course in mind just fill out this form and we will get the process started to make you the next member of our instructor team at Port City Makerspace!

Curious about pricing and how we pay instructors? Read this explanation.

Harvest Fest On Saturday the 23rd of November

Harvest Fest On Saturday the 23rd of November Portsmouth’s West End is the frontier of the Portsmouth scene. Come celebrate with the key players who keep the area weird at the second annual West End Harvest Festival. Besides Port City Makerspace you can expect a showing from ToboggonFarmhack, Seacoast Robotics, Port City Peds, and more!

See demonstrations on activities in all of our shops plus special demonstrations from our partners and members.

Fall Harvest is about making things to get you through the long New England winter, so what better place to have a harvest festival than Port City Makerspace? Come join us in the celebration of cultural ingenuity and regional craft as we make apple cider in our hand crank press and celebrate the traditions of the fall season. This event is free and open to everybody. Food and Drink will be available for sale.
Saturday November 23rd 4-8pm

Member Project coming soon

Member Project coming soonWe will be meeting at the first ever members brunch on march 17th to decide about a member led project for Port City Makerspace. This will be an opportunity for members to put their heads together and work together on something that everybody thinks will be awesome. Port City Makerspace will be providing a TBA budget for this project and it will be totally up to members to decide what the project is. We know you’ll do something awesome!