Meet: NYC Resistor

Meet: NYC Resistor

Along with Noisebridge, NYC Resistor was one of the very first hackerspaces to start up in the US. It formed on Halloween 2007 after New York hackers Bre Pettis and George Shammas got back from the Hackers on a Plane tour around European hackerspaces and gathered a group together to start their own hackerspace in NYC. A few months later they had a small workshop in Downtown Brooklyn, and two years after that they moved into their current – and much larger – space on the 4th floor of a building down the road in Boerum Hill.

NYCR history is the stuff of legend, not just because it’s one of the oldest American hackerspaces but also because some of its members founded MakerBot, which would go on to be one of the biggest 3D printer manufacturers in the world. But as well as having a reputation for being the hackerspace of choice for NYC’s hackers, NYCR also has a tight-knit and friendly community and a high proportion of women members.

NYC Resistor back room

The back room for working on large projects.

There’s a great mixture of art and technology at NYCR with members working on projects ranging from cosplay costumes to hydroponics to hardware hacking, plus they usually put together an interactive group project for the annual World Maker Faire. The space is well kitted out with a main space for socialising and events (with ambience provided by a bunch of LED projects created by NYCR members); a laser cutting room; a wood and metal working workshop, complete with a full-size Shopbot, dubbed “Tool Town”; a space for working on large projects; and a mezzanine level in the eaves for HAM radio broadcasts. Not surprisingly considering NYCR’s history, there are also several MakerBot 3D printers that see a lot of use.

USB sticks for 3D printers

USB sticks for NYCR’s various 3D printers.

There are events on at NYCR most weeks, including regular workshops on laser cutting, soldering, and Arduino programming, one-off classes on subjects ranging from the Internet of Things to drag queen makeup to nail art, and a couple of big parties each year: their Summer Interactive Show, and their Halloween Party. Definitely check them out if you’re in town!

There are also open evenings every Monday and Thursday: Mondays are a bit more relaxed, Thursdays can get pretty busy. Membership is via invitation and any one of the existing 50 or so members can veto proposals for new members, which is part of why the space has developed such a close community. But after taking a laser cutting or 3D printing workshop you can use the space’s tools during open evenings, and that’s a great time to chat to existing members and to artists and hackers visiting on their travels through NYC.

NYC Resistor entrance

The entrance to NYC Resistor on 3rd Avenue.

NYC Resistor front door

You can’t miss the door into the space!