Chicago, IL – Inventables wants every person in the United States to have access to the newest digital manufacturing technology, 3D Carving. To that end, they announced a pilot project on May 12, 2014 to give away one of their Shapeoko 3D Carving machines to a publicly-accessible space in each of the 50 United States, as well as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.
Pictured: The Shapeoko 3D Carving Machine being given to maker spaces in all 50 states by Inventables.
“We believe that to ignite the digital manufacturing revolution, we need to provide free access to these important 3D carving tools to as many people as possible.”
The donated machines will be shipped to the winning organizations starting the week of June 16, 2014 and will be set up and ready for public use by mid-July.
3D carving, also known in industry as CNC milling, is a powerful technology capable of creating precision parts and designs from real materials like wood and metal, unlike consumer-grade 3D printers which can only use strands of plastic to create objects.
The machines work with Inventables’ free software Easel to allow anyone to go from idea to making in five minutes without any specialized knowledge or training. Inventables hopes that access to a free machine and free software will help reboot American manufacturing education, and allow people to start their own small-scale manufacturing businesses in the United States.
In addition to libraries, Inventables is partnering with “Hackerspaces” across the united states, which are community gathering places where people with an interest in learning and technology can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge.
One such Hackerspace that Inventables has partnered with is ATX Hackerspace in Austin, TX. Founded in 2009, ATX Hackerspace has recently added a Startup Incubator program, where members can rent office space to turn the ideas they’ve been building into small business. There are 12+ small business that have started within the space over the last year since the program was started.
ATX Hackerspace Founder Martin Bogomolni: “Our members openly share their knowledge and expertise on a whole host of subjects and some of those ideas are being turned into viable small businesses in emerging technology fields. It’s a very exciting time to have ideas and make real things.”
Small businesses that manufacture physical products are a quickly growing sector of the American economy. The Internet of Things and the larger umbrella of Digital Manufacturing are being driven forward by low-cost digital manufacturing tools being more widely available to the general public.
ATX Hackerspace Founder Martin Bogomolni: “At least a dozen small businesses have come out the hackerspace and at least two successful Kickstarter campaigns as well. We’re moving away from an era of mass manufacturing into a time of individual customization and small manufacturing, and hackerspaces are a breeding ground for that kind of innovation.”
Inventables CEO Zach Kaplan: “The majority of net new jobs come from startups and small businesses. These 3D carving machines present the opportunity for America to get back into manufacturing with a business model that makes sense in the new economy.”
Founded in 2002, Inventables’ mission is to ignite the digital manufacturing revolution by simplifying the path from idea to finished product. Recognized as the hardware store for designers, Inventables sells desktop manufacturing machines and thousands of materials in small quantities. Small manufacturing businesses purchase raw materials and machines from Inventables’ online store daily to use in manufacturing their own products from jewelry to eyeglasses to sell to customers. When a material from the site is needed in a large volume, Inventables assists in making connections to the manufacturer or supplier.