“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,” said Inventables CEO Zach Kaplan. “We hope that access to a free 3D carving 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.”
3D carving, also known as a CNC milling, is a powerful technology capable of creating precision parts and designs from materials like wood and metal. Unlike consumer-grade 3D printers, which can only use strands of plastic to create objects, 3D carving enables users to physically make a product or project on a computer controlled (CNC) milling machine using real materials. The 3D carving machines work with Inventables’ free software Easel to enable users to go from idea to design to running the machine in five minutes without any specialized knowledge or training.
Inventables is providing the Shapeoko 2, an open source, low-cost desktop 3D Carver known by the technical community as a computer numerical control (CNC) mill, to 50 publicly-accessible locations. Libraries and hackerspaces interested in receiving one of the free 3D carving machines should apply at inventables.com/3dcarver
MAP OF EARLY CONFIRMED LOCATIONS
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.
In Austin, Texas, Inventables is partnering with ATX Hackerspace. 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.
ATX Hackerspace Founder Martin Bogomolni: “The rise of these types of community hackerspaces is unprecedented in history. 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.”
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.
MakerCon connects individuals at the forefront of the maker movement in a two-day conference and workshop, from experts in digital manufacturing, to technology and tools providers, to accelerators that facilitate taking a prototype to market, and a broad swath of makers. The event will kick off with a number of three-hour workshops Tuesday morning followed by our stellar speaker lineup.