Joe Dwyer

Charleston, South Carolina
Reforge Charleston

What does it mean to be a maker?

A maker is anyone who makes things. This can be art, software, hardware, carpentry, prototypes, products, really anything.

Makers are intrinsically motivated and curious to learn how things work and creative individuals who try to make those things better.

What are you doing in the Maker community?

I am a co-founder of Reforge Charleston, Charleston's largest fabrication focused makerspace. We have a 2,400 sq ft makerspace full of 3D printers, CNC machines, soldering stations, and much more. We teach 'maker classes' just about every week which are open to the public.

I am volunteering with our local Nodebots Day. At this event we teach kids how to build simple robots in a day and program them with Javascript.

I am the founder of ProtoCon ( a prototyping and product developer conference in Charleston, Sc. Last year we hosted some great guest speakers and panelists like Ben Heck, Stephen Key, Jimmy Diresta, Bob Clagget, Izzy Swan, and many more.

I am the lead organizer for the Google Developers Group here in Charleston.

I am the lead organizer for Startup Weekend Charleston, an entrepreneurship competition we host in Charleston each September.

As you can see I am very passionate about makers, inventors, and entrepreneurs.

Who are some other Makers you admire and why?

My uncle is a luthier (mandolin maker) and he has been an inspiration for me because he designs and build some amazing sounding mandolins.

I am also inspired by people like Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Elon Musk, Bunny Huang, Ebon Upton, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, James Armstrong, and many many more.