Inside the Artisan's Asylum

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


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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.

Common Area

Common area

Welding Gear

Welding gear in a typical studio space.

Project Hexapod

A design illustration of Project Hexapod.

Project Hexapod in Pieces

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

SCUL Robot

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


Sparks fly in the chop shop.

More Skunkadelia

Another tig-welded robot sculpture from Skunkadelia.

CNC Router

A MultiCam CNC router.


R2D2... Because why not?


Science. So much science.

Plasma Cutter

K. Gretchen Greene uses a plasma cutter to slice through steel.


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

All Alone

Drafting plans in the metal shop.


Sort of Kubrickian, no?

Putting Out the Vibe

Rants: $0.05/minute. He pays you.

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.

SCUL Chopper Bikes

The SCUL chopper bicycle gang stores its fleet at Artisan's Asylum.

Bird Man

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


Some sort of Aztec sculpture/project/thing.

Big Machine in the Sky

More big birds probably destined for Burning Man.

Studio space

Typical studio space

Two 3D Printers

The Asylum has too many 3D printers to count.

Thanks a Mill

A large milling machine.

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