Inside the Artisan's Asylum

We take a closer look at one of America's biggest makerspaces.

Spanning more than 40,000 square feet, the Artisan's Asylum in Somerville, Massachusetts, is one of the biggest makerspaces in America.

At any given time, the place is swarming with all manner of artists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and hobbyists. And it's home to some nifty projects, from the enormously successful, like the 3Doodler 3D printer, to the utterly bizzare, like a 10-foot, six-legged vehicular hexapod.

Regardless of what these cutting-edge innovators are inventing, the question that drives all their projects is the same: Why not?

We had the opportunity to swing by the facility last week while researching our weekly column for USA Today, and we wound up with tons of outtakes and extra shots we were dying to share. So, without further ado, here's a deeper look inside the Asylum.

Skunkadelia's tig-welded robot sculptures. View Larger

Common Area
Common area View Larger

Welding Gear
Welding gear in a typical studio space. View Larger

Project Hexapod
A design illustration of Project Hexapod. View Larger

Project Hexapod in Pieces
Project Hexapod is far from complete, but you can get a sense of how immense this thing really is. View Larger

SCUL Robot
A robot sculpture advertising Somerville's SCUL chopper bicycle gang. View Larger

Sparks fly in the chop shop. View Larger

More Skunkadelia
Another tig-welded robot sculpture from Skunkadelia. View Larger

CNC Router
A MultiCam CNC router. View Larger

R2D2... Because why not? View Larger

Science. So much science. View Larger

Plasma Cutter
K. Gretchen Greene uses a plasma cutter to slice through steel. View Larger

This space looks like it's been here longer than the Asylum. View Larger

All Alone
Drafting plans in the metal shop. View Larger

Sort of Kubrickian, no? View Larger

Putting Out the Vibe
Rants: $0.05/minute. He pays you. View Larger

Electron Microscope
Harvard University (just a couple miles away) donated this scanning electron microscope to Artisan's Asylum. It's a first for the makerspace community. View Larger

SCUL Chopper Bikes
The SCUL chopper bicycle gang stores its fleet at Artisan's Asylum. View Larger

Bird Man
A bird/man project that one would guess is destined for Burning Man. View Larger

Some sort of Aztec sculpture/project/thing. View Larger

Big Machine in the Sky
More big birds probably destined for Burning Man. View Larger

Studio space
Typical studio space View Larger

Two 3D Printers
The Asylum has too many 3D printers to count. View Larger

Thanks a Mill
A large milling machine. View Larger

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