Does anyone know of reputable sources for equipment leasing for makerspaces? We want to test trial of equipment so members can dabble and we can decide if we want to make big investments.
I don’t know of anywhere that does this.
Perhaps a workaround would be to ask other spaces if they would be amenable to hosting a visit from your members so they can demonstrate the technology and showcase what they have done. This gives you the opportunity to talk to and ask questions of experienced users…
I don’t know what you’re after, but it might be worth talking to some of the equipment manufacturers. At Reading we found that by approaching one manufacturer at a tool show, explaining what we are about and are trying to achieve, they were willing to lend us some tools for a period on trial (iirc a wood lathe and a scroll saw).
If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
I don’t know of any that are specifically Hackspace friendly, but if you are setup as a company in some way/shape/form then, any of the usual Instrument hire companies should do business with you…
However, I’m not sure any of their prices are going to be Hackspace friendly…but you never know, you might be able to negotiate a good rate, if you explain you are a not for profit organisation…
For buying new and used equipment, try
I have spoken to them in the past (not actually bought anything )
Given some of the prices it might be interesting to watch out for a library of things in your area or help existing
Calibrated test equipment can be expensive. Maybe if you need to try something out it does not need to be UKAS calibrated.