The Berks LaunchBox is accepting members from the local community. Members will enjoy access to 3D printers, laptops, a laser cutter, and other high tech equipment; training and education on equipment and software; mentoring; access to such software programs as Tinkercad, Fusion 360, and SolidWorks, among others; discounts on classes and workshops, and free wifi.
The membership fee also includes one spool of Dremel PLA filament and five prototypes from the laser cutter per cycle. Additional materials can be purchased at cost.
Community members can join for one year or for a four-month period. There are several categories of memberships including:
- Maker Member ($40/cycle or $99/year): Adults interested in using the equipment and gaining access to trained staff and mentors. This membership will include unlimited access during open hours.
- Non-Penn State students and faculty, veterans or active military, and GoggleWorks members (20% discount): Individuals currently teaching or attending classes at an accredited institution of higher education or in Berks County schools, as well as those in active military service or veterans will get a 20% discount on the Maker Membership.
- Penn State faculty, staff and students (free): Individuals currently enrolled in credit classes, teaching or working at Penn State.
- Mini-Maker (free): Those under 18 years of age are granted access only when accompanied and properly supervised by a member.
Fees may be waived at the discretion of the Berks LaunchBox manager when a member is willing to volunteer five hours per month and undergo necessary training, and background checks. Responsibilities include training, certifying and assisting members on use of tools and equipment.
For more information or to become a member, visit berkslaunchbox.psu.edu/membership/.
About the Berks LaunchBox
The Penn State Berks LaunchBox is located within the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading, Pennsylvania. The Berks LaunchBox offers a makerspace with 3D printers for prototyping; entrepreneurship workshops; co-working space for startups; an Idea Test Lab accelerator program; Meetups focused on topics related to business development and technology; and special youth programs. The Berks LaunchBox is supported by Invent Penn State — a $30 million, commonwealth-wide initiative to spur economic development, job creation and student success, launched by Penn State President Eric J. Barron in 2016. Today, there are 21 innovation hubs across the state. For more information, visit berkslaunchbox.psu.edu.