SLO MakerSpace is a community resource dedicated to education and creativity. It is an open, collaborative machine/wood/electronics shop and craft center where one can build projects; teach and take classes; and build networks connecting with local people and resources.
The SLO MakerSpace offers tools, training, and consultation services that enable community members to experiment with and master a wide variety of Maker skills. We are dedicated to the following values:
- Community – We foster the development of a community of diverse people, at low cost, in a positive environment
- Collaboration/Education – The sharing of knowledge and ideas is critical for personal and professional growth
- Entrepreneurship – We support the growth of new businesses through skill-building classes and consulting services
Board of Directors
Chief Executive Officer
Clint Slaughter, MD is an emergency physician in San Luis Obispo at French and Arroyo Grande Hospitals and has been a lifelong maker. From disassembling his toys as a child, to building robots and producing Disaster Prep, an emergency preparedness application with SLO County Public Health, he is excited to be a driving force behind SLO MakerSpace. Dr. Slaughter is looking forward to developing an advanced educational and innovation laboratory for the community and for his two young sons to learn in.
Chief Sustainability Officer
As an Associate Professor of Physics at Cal Poly, I am fascinated by the global societal transitions in use of energy and resources that will likely continue to grow more challenging. Besides physics classes, I teach “Energy, Society, and the Environment” and classes dedicated to the development of appropriate technologies for impoverished communities and advise research on simple, inexpensive solar concentrators for cooking, and electrical production with a heat coproduct. In a “learn by doing” approach, I attempt to collaboratively participate in transformative activities at the interface of society and technology in everything from my introductory physics classes, my home life, to our collaborative summer school in Guatemala.
Brittany Coates Bersbach
Chief Financial Officer
Brittany leads an internal consulting team for Kaiser Permanente, where she stamps out process inefficiencies, circumvents naysayers, and texts advice to Vice Presidents. She cleverly avoided law school and attended business school instead, where she specialized in Finance, Marketing, and Hauteur. After work, Brittany can usually be found sitting next to a stack of graph paper. extension cords, and upholstery thread, reading several novels at once and jotting down notes for her next project. A Maker and an entrepreneur at heart, Brittany is thrilled to be adding her personal and professional skills to the SLO MakerSpace team.
Chief Technology Officer
A mysterious traveler, rarely seen in daylight, Dharmesh Patel, as those on this plane of existence know him, is a world-class programmer and computer expert. Some say that he’s already integrated his technology into his own brain. Some say he’s actually an advanced AI from the future. What we do know is that he’s a SLO MakerSpace Board member and a valuable part of the team!
Chief Operations Officer
Rory Aronson is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly. He is deeply passionate about combining entrepreneurship with technology, art, design, and lifestyle change to help solve social and environmental challenges. In July 2016, Rory launched DIY kits for FarmBot and offered a month of discount pre-orders. He sold over $810,000 in kits and had over 50M views of his video across the globe. Rory’s other entrepreneurial efforts include: OpenFarm and public bicycle repair stations called Bike Med Kit. Rory is a valuable Board Member, COO, Entrepreneur, and Guru to SLO MakerSpace and has been key to its growth and community impact.
Lorelei Sibet has been accused of witchcraft and manipulating the fabric of space-time when organizing and making business come to fruition. What previously wasn’t possible can materialize into reality when Lorelei takes the mane of the unicorn in her hands. Axe-wielding PVP maven, multi-industry-business owner, tamer of wild Pomeranians, and Board Member at SLO MakerSpace.
Investor, Resident Woodworker
Rich Farwell has been at it for a while.
“Starting in Junior High, in the late ‘50s, I made my first project.” It was a saltbox: 3/8” solid wood, butt joints and a lid hinged using two small brads. It was a nice little shaker style box designed to hang from a nail on the wall. “But who knew from salt boxes? To me a salt box was round and said ‘When it Rains, it Pours’.”
After a very long hiatus that covered high school, work in photography, Vietnam, a degree in business at Cal Poly SLO, marriage, and kids, Rich got back at it; working two years in a one-car carport and doing craft shows. Then he got lucky and was accepted into the brand new Fine Woodworking program at College of the Redwoods (1981 thru 1983). “Two years with master cabinetmaker Jim Krenov brought meaning to the comment by Donald Rumsfeld that ‘there are … unknown unknowns’. I thought I knew a lot and did good work, but the Fine Woodworking program really taught me how to achieve fine craftsmanship.”
It was three more years in the carport and working for others part time before Rich moved to a commercial space in 1987 where he owned and operated Los Osos Woodworking for 25 years before retiring in 2012.
Shop work cut a wide swath of projects but the more notable works included hand laid veneer tables, Inlaid stone computer station, entertainment centers. Reception stations for the SLO Museum of Art and for UCSB, and a few kitchens. In recent years, the shop produced hundreds of Frank Lloyd Wright designed lamps including lamps for George Lucas’ Big Rock Ranch office complex in Marin, CA.
Sponsors and Other SupportersThe following organizations and individuals have helped build our MakerSpace community by donating invaluable time, energy, tools, and other resources. Thank you for supporting the SLO MakerSpace!
Softec is a non-profit (501-c6) with a mission to advance business formation and growth in the technology sector. Our mission is to create “Softec Moments” and our goal is to create more “Softec Moments.” Softec also has a 501-c3 dedicated to our educational fund.
Softec has been the leading voice of the technology industry on the Central Coast since its formation in 1996. The story of Softec starts with a collection of innovative business leaders in 1996 seeking to connect the dots within the budding technology industry. They knew that the local businesses needed to connect to each other and build a bridge to educational and government resources. Even in those very early days the agenda of Softec was connecting resources, ideas, and people in the tech trade.
The Sutton Family
The City of San Luis Obispo
The City of San Luis Obispo has helped put on the SLO Mini Maker Faire and the SLO MakerSpace Expo.
Rob Rossi and his company, Rossi Enterprises have been instrumental in the success of SLO MakerSpace's second location through in-kind facility renovations and other support.
Bicycle Racks Donor
Peak Racks donated three awesome bicycle racks to SLO MakerSpace to help make our facility more family and bicycle friendly!
Corporate Sponsor of High-Speed Fiber Internet for Members
Norcast Telecom Networks is the Central Coast’s Premier Local Data and Telecom provider. We deliver exceptional customer service and customized solutions for all your Business Phone and Internet needs. Our clients benefit from ONE company caring for all aspects of their voice, data, equipment, and service needs. No confusion. No hassle. That’s our promise.
Electricraft helped build out the electrical systems of SLO MakerSpace's second space.
Above Grade Engineering
Corporate-sponsored design of electrical buildout of new SLO MakerSpace location.
Above Grade Engineering was formed to provide quality Civil Engineering services with an emphasis on exceptional customer service to clients frustrated with using companies devoted to billing – not engineering. Our goal is simple; we make your job easier by providing a high level of service that allows you to focus on your work load as we are delivering quality designs on time. We view ourselves as partners in our clients’ projects and we take great pride in their success.
SLO MakerSpace in the Press
- SLO The Tribune, February 16, 2016, “SLO MakerSpace moves into bigger location in San Luis Obispo.” Danielle Ames.
- KVEC, February 9, 2016, Dave Congalton Podcast – 02/09/2016 with Guest Host Mila Vujovich-LaBarre.
- KSBY, January 23, 2016, “SLO Makerspace opens new location.” KSBY Staff.
- SLO MakerSpace, January 1, 2016, SLO MakerSpace joins the SLO County Chamber of Commerce
- KCBX FM, December 23, 2015, “SLO County Library & MakerSpace: giving you the power to create.” Brian Reynolds.
- New Times SLO, July 1, 2015, “Kids can get their hands on cool tools at SLO Makerspace summer camp” Hayley Thomas.
- SLO Tribune Biz Buzz Extra, January 27, 2015, “SLO MakerSpace Offers Tools for Innovation.” Rebecca Juretic.
- Cal Poly College of Engineering, April, 2014, “Engineering Advantage – Spring 2014.“
- KCBX Public Radio, Central Coast Voices, April, 2014, “Welcome to the Maker Movement.” Fred Munroe.
- New Times Spring Arts Annual, March 27, 2014, “Art v. Craft.” Erin Messer.
- The Tribune, February 3, 2014, “SLO MakerSpace gives members a place to build, tinker, and experiment.” Monica Fiscalini.
- Mustang Daily, February 2, 2014, “Maker Movement Finds Permanent Home in SLO.” Kelly Trom.
- Invention Stories, February 2, 2014. “Tales from the Inventor: SLO MakerSpace.” Robert Bear.
- New Times, Strokes and Plugs, January 29, 2014, “Build, Learn, and Hack at New MakerSpace in SLO.” Lareina Gamboa.
- Information Press, January, 2014, “SLO MakerSpace is Coming Closer to Reality.” Michael Raphael.
- SLO City News, January 2014, “SLO Makers Show and Tell.” Frank Camas.
- Information Press, October 2013, “Space to Make Dreams Come True is Coming to San Luis Obispo.” Michael Raphael.
- KSBY, October 1st, 2013, “Central Coast Students Demonstrate Robots.” A brief sighting of our 3D printed InMoov hand in the newscast.
- SLO City News, August 2013, “SLO Makers Leave a Mark at the Library.” Frank Camas.
Past Board Members
Past Board Member
Justin Bennett, RN is a registered nurse who is on his third year of travel nursing. While currently employed at Arroyo Grande Hospital, he has worked in nearly every corner of the United States in places ranging from the arctic tundra of Barrow, Alaska to the tropical beaches of the Virgin Islands. Meeting people, traveling, exploring different cultures, and establishing life-long relationships are his passion. His quest for knowledge and personal growth mixed with his love for collaborating, building, and desire to invent solutions for modern day problems makes SLO MakerSpace a perfect fit in his life.
Past Board Member
Tom Cantrell has been involved with microprocessors since their introduction in the 1970s. Over the course of his career in Silicon Valley he worked with a number of global semiconductor leaders to define, design and market chips powering the microprocessor revolution. Along the way he also served as West Coast Editor and author of the popular ‘Silicon Update’ column for Circuit Cellar magazine. Currently Tom is working with IC and system suppliers focused on the emerging ‘Internet of Things’. He envisions SLO MakerSpace as a home for ‘hands-on’ creativity and entrepreneurship here on the Central Coast.
Past Board Member
Ken Rothmuller, is a engineering entrepreneur, educator, photographer and most of all a lifetime maker. He spent most of his work life in Silicon Valley working for large, small and startup technology companies, including: Varian Associates, Hewlett-Packard, Nationa l Semiconductor, Network Computers (an Oracle startup), Apple Computer, PhotoTablet and Adobe Systems. More recently, after moving to San Luis Obispo, he returned to Cal Poly (where he received his BSEE) and taught in the Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Graphic Communication departments.