What is the Santa Barbara Hackerspace?

The Santa Barbara Hackerspace is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our mission is to provide the community with access to space, tools, and resources to create. We provide space and tools for you to make and fix just about anything you can imagine. In addition we have an excellent community of very smart and skilled people who can help you along the way.

Our Story

Santa Barbara Hackerspace had its first meeting on August 2, 2010. We started out in a one-car garage and after nearly a year and weekly meetings we upgraded to our first office. It was 450 square feet and though it started empty, we filled it quickly. At the time we had only 7 contributing members and barely managed to get by there.

After a year there we had gathered a large enough following to justify moving to a larger unit. We moved to another unit that was about 2000 square feet. After just a month membership swelled and it was time to upgrade again. We rented a second 2000 square foot unit and made that a machine shop. With the added space we changed our model  a bit and decided that in addition to supporting members of the community we would also become an incubator for small businesses. We currently have 5 co-working offices housing 4 start-ups who regularly utilize our space and equipment to develop their businesses and products. To sum up, we are a group of makers and software developers in the Santa Barbara community who love coming together to build things.

We are a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, and we rely on the membership dues, and donations of enthusiastic technologists to keep going. Interested in becoming a member? Learn more about the benefits of membership.

Tools and services we have available:

  • 2 mills ranging from small to large
  • MIG, TIG, and stick welders
  • 3 3d printers
  • 2 20″ x 12″ 40 watt laser cutter
  • large metal cutting bandsaw
  • wood bandsaw
  • jig saw
  • a nearly full collection of hand and power tools
  • large format printer
  • soldering station
  • hot air rework station
  • oscilliscopes
  • logic analyzer
  • programmers for all the major micro-controllers
  • jtag programmer
  • computers with development software , cad software, development servers, etc.
  • a full range of hand tools
  • forge and anvil
  • amateur radio station
  • frequency analyzer
  • components available for purchase
  • a helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly community with a very wide range of skills and background
  • a small but sometimes useful collection of reference materials
  • book scanner
  • and much more.

Our Board of Directors
SBhackerspace has a seven person board of directors at this time. The board governs all major space decisions as well as deciding what items the membership may vote on. All board meetings are open to the public unless noted otherwise. The board meets irregularly though we try to have at least quarterly meetings. All board members are required to wear powdered wigs during board meetings. Below is a short bio of our board of directors, and their duties:

Mike “Swiss” Bales
Board President

Systems administrator by day hacker by night. I never did terribly well in school but found that I learned quite well on my own. I found very early on that I enjoyed computers and electronics and spent a lot of time learning the basics. I moved to Santa Barbara and attended SBCC but didnt get far. I found myself wanting to use the SBCC labs for my own ideas and projects but found it a bit difficult to access them without taking a lot of classes first. This coupled with the limited space available to a student in Santa Barbara I though there must be others like me. I posted a craigslist ad to see if there were others interested in starting a hackerspace in Santa Barbara after attending the Maker Faire in San Mateo. I got one response from Steve Phillips and the rest is history.

Steve Phillips
Vice President

Mike Ray

Garrett Holmstrom

Garrett is a long-time contributor to the Hackerspace who works on projects related to python, web services, computer networking, and ham radio. He also served on the Fedora Project board from 2012 to 2014 and works for Hewlett-Packard’s Cloud division.

Mike Kapuscik
Member at large

Nick Winters
Member at Large

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