Copyright Jason Abbott

image with thanks copyright Jason Abbott

DoESLiverpool are developing an iteration of the Enabling the Future project within the “Build Your Own: Tools For Sharing” Exhibition at FACT 4 June – 31 August 2015 with the Crafts Council and in association with Norfolk Museums Service and Norwich Hackspace. Ross Dalziel, Patrick Fenner and Adrian McEwen who are permanent deskers at DoES Liverpool are helping facilitate and support a ‘production line’ area in the FACT show within their main gallery 1 on the ground floor to 3D print open source designs of upper limb prosthetics. It’s inspired by a local family the Abbott’s who used our workshop to print hand parts independently. You can see an image of Baylee Abbott above.

Over the course of the exhibition FACT Gallery Assistants and DoESLiverpool will assist the public in testing and building 3D printed prosthetics using the open source design “The Raptor Hand”. The public will have the opportunity to play, experiment and understand what prosthetics are and how access to rapid prototyping and open source digital making tools can help people make the world the way they want it.

By working with Reach in the NorthWest, the association for children with upper limb deficiency, we’ll be helping a number of children (primarily) from the North-West and, when the exhibition tours, East Anglia where Norwich hackspace are assisting. In addition, the exhibition which tours to Norwich will raise awareness within the Reach community and the general public about some of the uses for 3d printing. It’s worth noting that the Raptor Hand is more of a tool rather than a fully functional prosthetic device and has very limited grip strength.  For more details on the design and its suitability check out

DoESLiverpool if you are new to us, as an organisation, do not do projects in a sense; we simply help our community to realise their projects with the facilities we have. Our community is essentially anyone who wants to do something with us. Part of the ‘deal’ of this project is that DoESLiverpool and Norwich Hackspace can keep the new larger 3D printers, Ultimaker 2’s, so that if people do need to print more hands in the future at DoESLiverpool, we will have extended our facilities so that they can. If a group grows and develops around the activity in the exhibition then that group can continue to use DoESLiverpool to support it like the many diverse groups that call DoESLiverpool home.

We are managing the project on github which we hope will aid Norwich hackspace when they help with their side of the tour.

There are a few dates of specific activity the public need to book on to aside from the public launch on the Thursday 4th June at 6pm. Booking details will follow on Eventbrite

Outside of these workshop dates the public can visit the exhibition and see the hands gradually being printed and finished so just like the DoES workshop but a little more formal and with more context and a visual explaination of the process of building the printed hands for DesktopProsthetics. Gallery assistants will be able to explain the process and show some of the completed parts as they are printed and prepped ready for assembly

Merry Christmas

Seasons greetings to all from DoES Liverpool. Don’t forget our Christmas party this Saturday from 2pm. There’ll be various things happening through the afternoon and possibly into the evening! Bring some festive cheer, and some food and drink along, and enjoy Christmas with us.

You can get some festive cheer in early by changing the colours on our Christmas tree! Simply send a tweet mentioning a colour and the word “cheerlights” and our tree will change colour, you can even see it on the webcam below! (Updated once a minute now disabled until next year!) More information on how to control CheerLights here.

Even more impressive, you can control the LED screen at FACT in a similar way due to a new installation by MCQN!

DoES π Party!

It occured to us recently that our third anniversary had come and gone – in July, actually. Obviously, a momentous occasion like this should be celebrated, but it seemed silly to hold a party so long after the event.

Luckily for us (and, of course, the whole DoES community), we’re not the type of people to let silliness hold us back, and certainly not when it comes to getting everyone together for a shindig. With that in mind, we just needed to find a reason, and one presented itself with an almost perfect serendipity – after all, what better celebration could we hold than one to commemorate our πth anniversary?

Strictly speaking, it might not be exactly our π day (that would be 51.1 days after our birthday, which is hotly disputed. Concensus is that it’s sometime in July, and 51 days after July is September 20th) but it’s as near to it as makes no difference, and besides, without a little number fudging, there’d be no party at all.

So, on Friday September 19th from 6pm, we’ll be hosting a get together right here in DoES. There’ll be everything you’ve come to expect from a DoES party – namely beer, food and a lot of great people – and a few surprises. And no doubt pie, in all its forms.

So bring your kids, bring your old people, bring your dogs*, but most importantly, bring yourselves, and help us see in a fourth year.

Well, the rest of our fourth year.



*Not really. Dogs hog the laser cutter.

Giant Viewing Party

Over the next few days Liverpool will be following the progress of a couple of giants as they roam the city.

As you can see from the itinerary in the above link, here at DoES Liverpool we should have a great view of them as they come along Hanover Street tomorrow.

Hot-deskers and residents will get to see the Little Girl Giant and her dog Xolo around lunchtime as they pass one way, and then later on (we’re guessing about 5pm) the Grandmother Giant will pass by on her way to Newsham Park.

As it’ll be Friday afternoon, we figured it would be nice to break from work early and have a bit of a viewing party to watch the Grandmother pass by.

So, we’re going to get some cake, ice-creams and drinks, and open up DoES to all our friends from 4pm on Friday. Come along, have a chat and an ice-cream, and watch some giants with us.

A Route to Space for Liverpool and UK business?

As part of the International Festival of Business, the British Interplanetary Society returned to its birthplace of Liverpool for a day of discussion of doing “business in space” – Mark from Reddbridge Media attended out of curiosity, and found some real messages for the businesses, makers and experimenters of today and tomorrow.

Read his report here on the DoES blog.

Continue reading “A Route to Space for Liverpool and UK business?”

You are cordially invited to an EPIC celebration.

Champagne from our 1st Birthday party
Champagne from our 1st Birthday party

We can hardly believe that DoES has been running for two years now, but we are 2 and feeling All Grown Up!

Whether you’re a regular hotdesker, maker, run an event here, or are just getting to know us we’d love you to come to our Birthday Bash after work on:

Come and join us!   Let us know you’re coming by emailing, tweeting @doesliverpool  or by replying here so we’ll have enough food for you!

We’ll have mouth watering Thai food from our friends’ new start-up Malong-Lae Thai.  Chris and Mild Iveson have been living in Thailand for many years and have recently moved back to the UK, so the food promises to be authentic, fantastic and not to be missed.

Do bring something to drink, though we’ll have some beer to start you off, and we’ll all likely repair down to the pub afterwards.

As well as being a great opportunity to get to know people from different parts of our wide community, there will be various fun things to dive into, including a session for kids run by Future Makers.

Hope to see you there!
Bubblino, and everyone at DoES.

Next Two Weeks at DoES Liverpool

This Friday 12th and Saturday 13th October are BarCamp Liverpool 3! This should be a great and interesting event and all are welcome to sign up. However it will restrict the amount of space we have for workshop and hot desk usage. If you really want to visit then let us know and we’ll try to squeeze you in, but your best option is to take the day off and visit BarCamp 🙂

Next Friday 19th October we’re having a lot of visitors from a local agency coming to use our workshop. They haven’t requested exclusive use but if you have any urgent need to use our equipment then you might be better to visit another day.

More positive news is that to celebrate Ada Lovelace day, recognising women in STEM, business and entrepreneurship we’ll be having a free day next Tuesday 16th October. The day will be free access for everyone so come down for some hot desking or to use our workshop. You don’t even need to bring cake!

Finally, I just wanted to mention that if you haven’t visited in a while you should really come by and see some of the changes we’ve made. Back in July we expanded into another room and moved the workshop equipment through to there. We’ve also just had a new kitchen fitted which is exclusively for our use. These changes have resulted in a much nicer clean & quiet environment for co-working, and a vastly improved dedicated workshop with some new equipment.

We hope to see you soon, and please do tell your friends!

Digital Innovation, a talk at FACT

Last Wednesday I was one of four people asked to give a talk at FACT (the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) about Digital Innovation. Once the talks were over we then had an interesting discussion between the speakers and the audience about some of the issues raised (and more). I was too busy involved in the debate to take notes I’m afraid (and I can’t find any other reports on it online), but I can share my slides. The notes here won’t be exactly what I said, but were my thoughts when preparing the talk and so shouldn’t be too far from the mark…

[audio:|titles=Adrian McEwen intro music]

(and if you want to hear more, try the original tune it’s sampled from)

Imagivisionating the Future(tm)

Hello, I’ve blatantly stolen the idea of having intro music from a friend of mine, Russell Davies, but I think it’s good to start things with a bit of a flourish. I’ll come back to what the music was a bit later.

Who Am I?

I’m Adrian McEwen, I build interesting things with electronics and software and I co-founded something called DoES Liverpool. More on that later too.

Thanks to FACT for asking me along tonight…

Digital Innovation

I wasn’t sure what to talk about at first, but given the overall theme is “Digital Innovation” I figured I’d have a stab at defining what that might be.

Let’s break it down first…


That’s easy, it’s about computers and stuff. Pretty much everything I do involves computers or electronics or the Internet in some way or other…


That’s the tricky one. Everyone seems to want more of it, as it’s some sort of magical elixir that will save money, make us more competitive, create new businesses and make us “think out of the box”. Which is strange, because people “doing innovation” look like this…


Which looks rather like they’re inside a big box, whereas these guys…


…are definitely outside of their box, and have re-imagined it as a shop. And tomorrow they’ll maybe rebuild it into a spaceship, and then incorporate a bedsheet to make it a lunar base…

I think “innovation” is one of those grown-up business words, that’s used by people because they don’t think they can get away with saying…





Trying Loads of Different Stuff

The problem is that in pretending we’re not doing any of those things, we suck all the permission to do any of those things out of ourselves, and end up trapped in a meeting room with a stack of post-it notes until we’ve “imagineered” our way out.

Another Way?

We’re tying to do things a bit differently at DoES Liverpool

First off, we’re a bit hard to explain…

We hold lots of events there but we’re not really a venue.
We have all sorts of people, with all sorts of skillsets, but we’re not an agency or an artists collective. You can’t “hire” DoES to make or do things for you.

I guess you can say we’re a community of diverse and interesting people (which we’d love you to join) who have a space where most (but not all) of the related activities take place.


A Space to Play

DoES is full of people who are interested in trying out new things, and seeing where that takes them. We saw some laser-sintering of titanium at Liverpool University’s Engineering Department, and so John McKerrell thought he’d try it out with our laser-cutter and some sugar…

A Space for Experimenting

And some of the playing leads into experimenting. We were trying out some RFID technology, and installed it into the door at DoES so you get a welcome tune played when you arrive, and another when you leave. The music at the start of my talk is what gets played when I check into DoES. We’ve now extended the system so that it automatically logs the days that hot-deskers are here, so it makes running the space easier and lets us track stats of how it’s being used.

Somewhere to Cross-Pollinate Ideas

All sorts of people use DoES – artists, web developers, software engineers, designers… We’ve even got a translator and surveyor and someone who runs a modelling agency. Who knows what conversations and ideas will come about with those sorts of connections…

And there are plenty of groups that call DoES home – GeekUp, Liverpool Sewing Club, Breakerfaire (a computer security meeting), SpecFicLiv (a sci-fi/fantasy writing group), and one of the more regular events is…

A Space for Making

Maker Night (and Maker Day). Three times a month anyone can come along and learn more about 3D printing (that’s our 3D printer in the slide), laser-cutting, or electronics (things like Arduino). If you need a making fix more often than that, the workshop is available for anyone working from the space for the rest of the time

A Space for Prototyping

We have a number of people using the space to prototype their projects or ideas. I use it for some electronics/Arduino kits I’m developing, John McKerrell has been iterating through versions of his WhereDial location clock with the laser-cutter, and just today artist John O’Shea has been 3D printing scaffold for tissue culture as part of a bio-hacking project.

A Space for Business

Lots of members of the space run their own business, so there’s expertise to tap into, and someone to sympathise when you’re having a moan about clients not paying on time… Plus there’s Lean Liverpool, a monthly meeting to learn more about the Lean Startup methodology to running your business, and the Liverpool DoES Startups startup weekends (next one coming up in November)

A Space for Working

We’re happy to help you get some work done, whether it’s just hanging out at a desk with your laptop getting wifi and a cup of coffee, or using the workshop to laser-cut your latest project design.

You can get a desk to call your own and use of all the facilities; or have access to come in and use the workshop whenever you like; or just come and hot-desk (or hot-workshop) for a day. If any of that sounds tempting, bring some cake along and you can try us out for your first day for free.

Get Rich or Have Fun Trying

Is any of this going to increase the amount of Digital Innovation in Liverpool? I don’t know, it’s hard to scale or force – all you can do is try to engineer more serendipity into the environment.

At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter, it’s more about encouraging more people to chase exciting and different projects, and to make a living in a more enjoyable way.

The challenge we’re setting is…

Can You Do Epic S**t, Liverpool?

[audio:|titles=Adrian McEwen goodbye music]

Happy Birthday To Me!

DoES Liverpool will be celebrating its first anniversary in the next week! We’re putting on a few activities to celebrate and we’d love you to come along.

Friday 13th July Daytime – lucky for you as we’ll be offering a day of free Hot Desking. Come down and try out the space, use our laser cutter, maybe even 3D print something without paying a penny. You don’t even need to bring cake (though we won’t complain if you do)! A great opportunity to get some work done while meeting up with other freelancers and laptop workers.

Friday 13th July Evening – the luck continues as we’ll have a few drinks to celebrate the success of DoES over the past year. We’re still making plans but at there very least there’ll be alcohol and the opportunity to look around our existing space as well as the new room we’ll be taking over in the next few weeks.

Saturday 14th July Daytime – an extra special Maker Day, celebrate a year of making, by making! Bring your projects or bring yourself and get involved in someone else’s projects. We may even have some projects to enable us to hack DoES Liverpool itself!

Saturday 11th August Daytime – another special Maker Day for the grand opening of our new workshop space, come along to see our new space and find out how you can get access to and make use of it. Or bring your projects and get making, again we’ll probably have some projects on the go to hack DoES too.

(Click on the links to head over to lanyrd and let us know you’re coming, that’s optional but is a great help to know who’s coming)

Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported DoES Liverpool over the past year, we couldn’t do it without you, literally. DoES Liverpool’s services are paid for solely from people paying for our services, our running costs are not subsidised at all. So thanks to all of you friends, hot deskers, permies, workshop members, event sponsors, interns and everyone who has been involved in our events over the past year; here’s to great things in the future and hope to see you in DoES Liverpool soon!

For the fact fiends: DoES Liverpool CIC was incorporated on 10th June 2011, so by that date we’ve already missed our birthday! Worry not though as we didn’t really do anything until the 8th July when we moved into our space in the Gostins building, after that we didn’t actually open to the public until the 18th July. With all these dates it’s difficult to pick one so we simply chose an appropriate Friday which just so happened to correlate with Maker Day!

(If you want to make one, you can find the design for the laser cut cake over on thingiverse)

GEC 2012 Round-up and Thanks to ScraperWiki

Well GEC2012 was such a great week it’s taken us a long time to recover!

Before GEC week even started we had some great coverage in the Liverpool Daily Post. Monday featured talks by Peter Bond and Ian Scott talking about invention and innovation. We had attendees from Canada, Spain and New Zealand who all seemed to enjoy the talks. In the evening the Knowledge Cafe 101 event was well attended and we had some interesting attendees to the Open Evening coming to see what DoES Liverpool was about.

Tuesday’s Lean Liverpool went well and we very much appreciated Mark Holmes not only giving a talk about The Startup Owner’s Manual by Steven Gary Blank but also donating a copy! Maker Night again saw new people being introduced to DoES Liverpool and discussing the interesting projects they want to work on, unusually there was a bit of a software bias to some of the ideas but the 3D printer and laser cutter were both active throughout the night as well!

The Open Source Entrepreuneurship talk went down really well and Adrian has done a great write-up and linked to the video over on his blog.

Finally Ignite returned to Liverpool for the 9th time with a fitting 9 great talks, including me (John McKerrell) talking about the birth of DoES Liverpool and giving instructions for how to set up your own amazing co-working maker space. See that link for the slides to my talk and see the videos of the talks on the UStream channel.

We also have to thank ScraperWiki for stepping in at the last minute to help sponsor the events we held in DoES meaning we could offer free tea, coffee and beer throughout. It’s great to have support from people like ScraperWiki and ACME meaning we can put on some great events!