In the olden times, inventors were referred to as inventors. But now inventors are referred to as 'makers', and boy have things changed. There are now more and more makers' spaces popping up. These are locations where you can learn/play around with 3D printers, laser etching, wood works, and dozens of heavy expensive machines.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Bill Gearhart (yes that's his real last name), who is the manager of TechShop Pittsburgh a makers' space that President Obama recently visited. TechShop is an international makers' space with locations all over the country/world. We talked about what it is like working in such a dynamic atmosphere.