The Round Barn Lab logo was created by its secretary, Jessica Shafer, of Mixed Media Design.
The Round Barn Lab logo was created by its secretary, Jessica Shafer, of Mixed Media Design.
Rochester will soon be home to a makerspace that will provide a variety of tools in a learning environment.

The term “maker movement” generally refers to the inventors, designers and technologists who are paving the way in the latest, contemporary wave of do-it-yourself culture. From engineering-oriented pursuits such as electronics, robotics and 3-D printing, to more traditional activities such as metalworking, woodworking and arts and crafts, the maker culture encompasses a wide array of fields of interest.

A new group is seeking to bring these concepts — and a physical makerspace location — to Rochester. 

“We formed our board in July of 2018 and have been meeting regularly since then,” said Josh Zehner, President of Round Barn Lab. “We have a total of six board members that all come from different backgrounds and have different occupations, but we all very deeply believe in this makerspace and want to get it running in order to provide value and education for our community.”

The idea is to provide a physical location for the group’s members to come and create using tools and equipment they might not normally have access to.

After forming the board and officially holding their first meeting last July, Round Barn Lab has been electing officers and identifying stakeholders in the community who can help turn their thoughts into reality.

According to Zehner, they have been actively seeking spaces large and affordable enough to house their aspirations.

“We are looking for a central location that all our members can easily go to,” he said. “Members will have twenty-four-seven access to the space along with the ability to use all the tools equipment and facilities.”

The group is holding a 3-D printing open house at the Fulton County Public Library in Rochester from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 23 that will be open to the public. Zehner said the library is providing several 3-D printers.

“I will be showing different ways to find things to print and if you can’t find anything, how to make what you are looking for,” Zehner explained. “It’s going to be an unstructured class – people can just show up how they’d like and learn about the printers and what it takes to print an object. Then they can run a quick print that should print in around 10-to-20 minutes.” 

Round Barn Lab will also be handing out surveys for interested community members to help shape what the new makerspace will provide for the community.

The public will be seeing and hearing more about the group as they continue to get established in the community. Zehner says they recently received their 501(c)3 status.

“We are currently looking for a building, as well as grow our members at the same time," Zehner said. "We will be showing up a lot around the community and at events around the county to introduce people to the makerspace and field any questions people have around the whole idea.”

The name Round Barn Lab ties into Fulton County’s history. The county has 17 round barns — more than any other county in the state.

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