The Maker Bean Cafe
The Maker Bean Cafe started out as an Ontario Science Centre project, and now has this storefront location in Bloorcourt where you can 3D print and laser cut whatever you want while sipping java.
Run by Lorraine Sit and Christopher Caira, workshops and camps for adults and kids take place in a basement area in everything from 3D printing to Minecraft to robotics and video game programming.
The downstairs area can hold around 20 to 30, a capacity of 40 upstairs in the cheerful space primarily designed by Sit, with local curated art by friends on the walls.
3D printers are front and centre, right in the window to pique the interest of passers by. “You don’t even need to get coffee, honestly,” says Caira. Anyone with a genuine interest is welcome to come in and check things out.
They’ve got a Prusa printer made with open source technology, some plastic pieces themselves 3D printed. For a custom project, pay a $5 setup fee and then 10 cents a minute for as long as it takes to complete.
There’s also a Monoprice IIIP printer, examples of all kinds of imaginative 3D objects that could be printed scattered about the table it rests on.
The sole laser cutter is at the back, which can be used to create custom pieces for $100 an hour, a setup fee $10 - $40 depending on the type of object.
If you’re not the patient type, or even that creative, there are plenty of ready-made design options for anything from coasters to pins and wall decor.
Even the sign outside has laser cut pieces of white acrylic stuck to it. Most of the examples of laser cut items are done in wood, but laser cutting can be done on granite or even glass too.
Croissants from local French bakery Gouter start at $2.75, and are used to make croissant sandwiches.
Raspberry croissants are a standout, raspberry flavour throughout and filled with raspberry compote.
Coffee is provided by local roaster Propeller, their classic Turbo used for all espresso-based drinks.
A latte ($4.50) is lovingly presented, and can be made with skim milk at no extra charge, a 50 cent charge is applied for non-dairy alternative milks.
Anything can also be iced for 50 cents.
As much as possible in the space has been 3D printed and laser cut, from menus to bathroom signs to drink stencils — proving how easy it is to customize practically anything with this technology.
The goal of Maker Bean is to bring maker culture, so often buried away, out into the open, and that’s been more than achieved here.