Want to build a machine but don't have the tools

Hey Precious Plastic People,

For an ocean plastic recycling project, I would like to build an extruder, but I don’t have a lathe nor a welder…

Depending on where you are in the world, having the necessary parts made in a machine shop can be quite pricey.

Most likely for many of you this is nothing new, but in case it is:
Lots of countries have shared work spaces where you can use lathes / welders / other tools either for free or for a very small amount of money. Often, people are willing to show you how to use these tool, too. So even if you don’t know how to use a lathe, you can go there and learn how to make the parts you need. You save money AND learn something. Pretty cool, IMO.

In Germany, for example, you can find different shared work spaces all over the country here https://www.offene-werkstaetten.org/

I will try some out during the next week in Hamburg and will let you know how things worked out.

If you have such shared work spaces in your country, I would love to hear about them :).

Cheers, Nike


In my town, we have what’s called a Makerspace. They have been slowly getting more popular since early 2000’s, but the one in my town is filled with any sort of metalworking, woodworking, welding, and fabrication type thing you could imagine. It is mostly volunteer based and is a large community effort to have running as well as it does.