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South Florida Maker Movement Grows With Events, Spaces, Fair

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Peter Andrew Bosch / MIAMI HERALD STAFF
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It’s entirely appropriate that Makers Square is a work in progress.

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Makers get down to business at the four-week summer maker camp held in Delray Beach.

The grounds surrounding the brick-red building are covered with projects under construction, including large aquaponic planters built from pallets for herbs and fruit trees.

Nine shipping containers are being repurposed as classrooms, a pottery studio, a photography studio and rentable individual workspaces. Also in the plans: The roofs of those containers will be covered with gardens.

Inside the building and around the back, there is a woodworking shop, a blacksmith shop, welding areas, an electronics lab, sewing studio, communal meeting spaces, a kitchen and more, all packed with industrial-strength tools of the trades.

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Credit Peter Andrew Bosch / MIAMI HERALD STAFF
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From left, Brian Weiner, Elaine Scantlen and John McNulty are the directors at the Makers Square, a 14,000 square foot warehouse facility with indoor and outdoor space for makers at 1142 NE 6th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale that opened in October.

Makers Square, tucked inside a neighborhood behind the Home Depot store off Sunrise Boulevard and U.S. 1, is part workspace, part hangout for “makers” or local inventors, tinkerers, techies, entrepreneurs and artisans who get together to make stuff.

“What we found is there a large creative class, but no one knows one another. People are really excited to have a creative hub in Fort Lauderdale,” said Brian Weiner, who opened the space with two partners earlier this month.

And more are on the way: A network of warehouse-size spaces for makers is forming from Miami to northern Palm Beach County.

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