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Should I Join the Makerspace Revolution? Before you join a collaborative workspace, consider these tips.

By Mikal E. Belicove

This story appears in the August 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Andy Martin

In the U.S. alone, there are now more than 400 "makerspaces" -- shorthand for facilities that contain the tools and room you'll need to design, prototype and manufacture potentially marketable goods. Before you join one of these informal innovation labs, Vicki Holt, president and CEO of Maple Plain, Minn.-based Proto Labs advises that you make sure you work well with others.

What you get:

Makerspaces provide access to a wide array of equipment -- power tools, sewing machines, 3-D printers, high-end manufacturing devices and more -- and, often, classes for learning new skills. They also offer the opportunity to work alongside like-minded inventors and fledgling manufacturers, many of whom are developing go-to-market plans and are interested in connecting with potential partners.

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