WARRENTON — A new collaborative makerspace, Vegabond 3D, has opened in the Premarq Center, offering the public space and equipment to create.
Travis and Nina Rowland said they were returning a package to the UPS store when they saw the vacant storefront next door and had an epiphany. Travis Rowland, who works for information technology company Ericsson, had amassed a trove of 3D printers and other high-tech equipment to feed his own hobbies and side hustles.
“When I first got started, there was no place I could go that would help curate my idea,” he said. “I had to figure it all out on my own.”
Since losing the Aaron’s rent-to-own store and Radio Shack, the vacant storefronts of the Premarq Center facing U.S. Highway 101 have slowly filled in with El Catrin Mexican Cuisine and Kiosco Mexicano 2, a second location of the Mexican store started in Seaside.
The Rowlands filled a small storefront wedged between UPS and the former Aaron’s with a playground of low- and high-tech tools. A back room caters to sewing and embroidery, and another to computing. They plan to add a wood and metal shop and a commercially certified kitchen for selling food products.
“We want to encourage people to create whatever their heart and mind desires,” Nina Rowland said.
In addition to tools, Vegabond 3D is stocked with board games, gaming computers and other toys to draw in youth. The Rowlands, who home-school their three children, hope the space will become a gathering spot for students.
Vegabond 3D bills by the hour, along with various levels of membership and scholarships for low-income patrons. Travis Rowland said he hopes to crowdfund for more 3D printers and other projects.
Glen Herman, who founded Astoria Makers in 2016, said he has pulled back from the collaborative workspace the group built out in the Van Dusen Building at 10th and Duane streets. The makerspace closed to the public in March with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We just couldn’t make it work with the team I had, the building and expectations for price point,” he wrote in an email.
Herman has moved his small-batch fabrication projects back to the building in Miles Crossing where the Astoria Makers began, and where he will offer workspace by invitation as people get vaccinated.