Geekish in Seattle


Spring garden II, originally uploaded by sbmilagros.

Spring in Seattle means lots of flowering shrubs & trees, and days alternating rapidly between grey/wet and shining blue. In fact, the only day this yr that I’ve needed the down jacket I’ve been dragging with me was yesterday. And I was grateful to have it!

I stayed a few days with my older son & his wife in West Seattle. They bought a house last yr & have been working hard on fixing it up. I’m absolutely amazed by all the projects they’ve completed. I stayed in West Seattle last yr for a while, so it felt a bit like home. (That is, I know where to shop, eat, buy gas & park.)

Now I’m staying on Capitol Hill with my other son & his friends, and this is a new n’hood for me. It’s full of old mansions, and twee shoppes, and hipsters. Just down the street is the Episcopal cathedral & Bishop’s manse.

But in the middle of all this is a growing geek/hacker subculture… Two related shops, Metrix Create:Space and Ada’s Technical Books have located here, and their clientele is following.

I toured Metrix Create:Space a couple days ago. It is absolutely amazing. They are building & creating kits for 3D printers. What that means is (my understanding…) the printer takes a 3D file, created with a program like Blender. It then melts plastic & sprays it in the pattern of that 3D object. And viola, you have a plastic 3D object. There is also a laser burner, and user-members can buy time to use the machines. Take a look @ their website, b/c I’ve barely touched the surface.

This is the closest I’ve seen to a living version of the world Cory Doctorow describes, especially in Makers. If you haven’t read Makers, go down ┬áto Ada’s Technical Books about a block away, and buy it. Or a book (new or used) in just about any scientific or math-related field. Or a gift for your favorite geekish person.

Check out the photos

One Response to “Geekish in Seattle”

  1. Brad Offutt says:

    Sara, very cool! The magazine Make is one of my favorites. And here’s a note on geekish antiquities – my late father was the original inventor, and had the original patent, on the spiral wire vending machine mechanism seen, now, all over the world, and in the vending machine in your picture. He would have LOVED 3D printers!