3D-carving machine makes personal manufacturing possible in Reno-Sparks

Reported by: Van Tieu
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Updated: 6/28/2014 6:07 pm
SPARKS, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - Across the country, more and more people are building, creating, and making. It's called the maker movement, and it's taking shape in Reno-Sparks.

Bridgewire is Northern Nevada's maker-space, a place where minds can meet, collaborate, and make whatever they can design. The group was awarded a 3D-carving machine by Chicago-based company, Inventables earlier this year during a promotion to give a machine to one maker-space in every state.
The 3D-carving machine is formally known as a C.N.C Mill.

"C.N.C. stands for computer numerical control," says Nick Williams of Bridgewire.

It’s very much like a drill press, but it moves up and down, left to right, and backwards and forwards.

Machines like the C.N.C. Mill have existed in big manufacturing industries, usually, expensive, bulky, and inaccessible. However, that’s changing.

"A lot of things we're seeing in the maker movement in the country now, is fundamentally, manufacturing coming home."

In just a few minutes, Williams can design artwork on his personal computer, using a variety of software, even Microsoft Word.

All it takes is a connection, some post-processing, and then the drill gets to work.

“As a drill bit moves through the material, material is removed,” explains Williams.

Williams carved a quick KRNV sign for demonstration, but the machine is capable of much more intricate designs. The possibilities are endless.

"It can be a sign, a mechanical part, anything you can imagine or design basically," says Williams.

He says having the machine gives makers in Reno-Sparks the power to press their own ideas and imaginations.

It's welcome addition to other tools like laser cutters and 3D-printers at the maker-space.

"The maker-space is kind of like a membership to a health club, but instead of going to work out, you're making stuff,” says Williams.

If you would like to check out the 3D-carving machine, and other tools with the makers of Bridgewire, you can visit their open sessions on Thursday nights from 6:30-9 p.m. at 1055 Industrial Way Suite 20
Sparks, NV 89431. To learn more visit, bridgewire.org

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