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British Tradition Reinvented: The Hackspace

Hackspaces, also sometimes called Maker Spaces or Maker Fairs, have surged in popularity in the past few years. Located around the country and usually organised through social media systems like Facebook and Telegram, hackspaces are places where hobbyist engineers, craftsmen, and designers come together to pool tools, resources, and experience.

There are fine old British traditions running through the modern hackspace; community values, an emphasis on understanding and mastering your craft, and a generosity of spirit.

While technologies like 3D printers are coming down significantly in price, the understanding to use them hasn't caught up, and many other technologies used in assembling these modern crafts are more expensive, as are the raw materials and the components needed to put them to use.

Members of these communities all contribute to the cost of equipping and restocking their hackspace – and they often recruit by holding monthly open days where other local enthusiasts can try their hand, seek advice from members, and see if they want to join.

For JPR Electronics the development of the hackspace movement has been fascinating to watch. For over three decades we've supplied small to large organisations with the kits and components necessary for their purposes, but hobbyist and other non-business orders have been rare.

Pooled resources from hackspaces allow them to tap into the benefits of bulk ordering, and a hackspace always needs more cables, breadboards, power supplies, and tools – as well as much of the rest of our catalogue.

Hackspaces have become a place where people can go to hone their skills, working on their own projects and developing a CV that might open doors into electronics work going forward. At JPR Electronics, we think these communities are building a better future for British electronics in much the same way Acorn and Amstrad's 1980s success created the British computer game industry of the 1990s and onward.

We invite hackspace and maker fair members to consult our catalogue and place your first order. We're confident that it won't be your last.

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