The Makings of Magic

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Vocademy General Manager Dylan Harter

Dylan Harter has an extraordinarily cool job.

As General Manager at Vocademy: The Makerspace, Dylan oversees a unique program.
Vocademy, which opened in Riverside in 2013, is a maker space with a difference. Their program focuses on education–for everyone. And they’re teaching real-world skills that most schools no longer offer.Vocademy General Manager Dylan Harter displays laser-cut plaques

“We are makers,” says Vocademy’s website. They’re sharing those making skills by offering training in 3D printing, laser cutting, woodworking and a host of other hands-on areas. With employee-training programs for companies, as well as students and the general public, they’re bringing the “fun” element back to learning.

Batman costume near sewing machines

Oh, and they’re creating some fantastic cosplay, LED signs, and go-carts, too.

"I'm not a complete idiot" LED sign

gocart made by Vocademy students

In March, we met Dylan at Vocademy for a tour of the fifteen-hundred-square-foot facility. Like the maker culture itself, Vocademy is continuing to grow and evolve. Vpro 3D printer

These 3D printers were made specifically for Vocademy!

Laser cutting cutting wood

This massive laser cutter has a three-foot-by-four-foot cutting area. It can cut anything that burns.

Electronics station with LED light circuit

The day we visited, Vocademy had eight electronics stations, were adding features to their finishing room, and were continuing to explore the possibilities for a second Southern California location, sometime within, approximately, the next two years.

They were also planning a maker faire, this autumn, in Riverside! We’ll give you more details when they announce the date.

Dylan Harter with 3D printed and molded masks

Dylan talked about his experiences with Vocademy, showcased some of the facility’s features (a high school actually teaches shop classes onsite, due to Vocademy’s high-end equipment and safety procedures) and offered a preview of what’s next.

On this edition of Over Coffee®, you’ll hear:
  • How Dylan and founder Gene Sherman first came up with the concept of Vocademy;
  • How a local charter high school is using Vocademy for onsite curricula;
  • Some of the maker skills students and members can learn;
  • Dylan’s recommendations for favorite resources for makers;
  • Where Vocademy is heading, in the future;

156 episodes available. A new episode about every 7 days averaging 19 mins duration .