Factory Two: Flint’s Creative Hub

Located at 129 N Grand Traverse St.,  Factory Two is Flint’s own hub for creation. If you’ve ever wanted to make something using 3D printing or woodwork without investing in expensive equipment, Factory Two makes expressing yourself through machinery easier than ever.

“Factory Two is about community, it’s about making, it’s about collaboration and it’s about working together to build Flint up,” said Event and Social Media Coordinator of Red Ink Flint, Sara Johnson. “Our goal is to get these tools into people’s hands and to serve the community’s needs as best as possible.”

A standard monthly membership to Factory Two costs $50 and includes free tool reservations, as well as discounts on all classes and most events there. However, for University of Michigan-Flint students, this membership is free. All you need to do is present your student ID at the check-in desk.

In addition to a free membership, students can also check out a 48-hour pass from the library. This pass gives access to all of the machinery and facilities present at Factory Two.

The collaboration between Factory Two and UM-Flint goes even further through the history department. Thomas Henthorn, one of the department’s professors, often brings students to Factory Two to learn about forging and blacksmithing. Dr. Henthorn also teaches classes at Factory Two each month.

In an interview with UM-Flint, Henthorn said, “We’re out here in the community and we’re using community equipment and space. The students benefit with experiential learning–they’re understanding some of the techniques of blacksmithing itself.”

So what can a UM-Flint student do with their free membership? Unlike similar maker spaces, at Factory Two beginners can come to take classes. There are courses in computer-aided design, vector software, 3D printing, laser cutting and milling, just to name a few.

Classes end up costing $10-$15 and you’ll be able to take home any products you create, whether it be a stool from a woodworking class or a keychain from a laser cutting class.

Factory Two provides everyone the tools to succeed and create. In many instances, those who have taken these courses have gone on to make businesses of their own. Some continue to utilize the space for their endeavors, including Deonte Pitts, the creator of DRiP clothing, which makes t-shirts out of Factory Two.

“These business owners have taken our classes in vinyl cutting, heat pressing and textile screen printing, and are utilizing our space to create a business. We don’t ask for any percentage of items sold using Factory Two machinery,” said Johnson.

“Factory Two is committed to being Flint’s hub for creation,” said Johnson. “Nothing is more rewarding than teaching someone how to do something and then watch them come back and make things you never could have imagined.”

To learn more about Factory Two, visit their website.