[Hidden-tech] MakerBot (or similar) 3D printing

Michael White mike at templemanautomation.com
Tue Mar 26 16:35:54 EDT 2013

I have been looking into this, and just had a conversation with the
head of the western mass chapter of precision machinists and he
confirmed that there is no one in the area that he knows about who has
professional-quality 3D printing.

My main company in Somerville, MA is in the same building as Artisan's
Asylum (http://artisansasylum.com/), a huge and rapidly expanding
maker space, which I think could be a model of an Amherst area
facility.  We have been members for about a year and used their
machines for a variety of research and hobby jobs.

I have also reached out to Hampshire College's Lemelson Center
(http://www.hampshire.edu/academics/index_lemelson.htm) that is a shop
with a maker space feel on campus there.  It would be very interesting
to talk to the directors there and get a feel for the challenges they
have faced.  It would be great to start something here that had
tie-ins with the colleges.

My primary concerns are:
Space - it really requires large area, low cost, industrial space with
3-phase electrical.  Not sure where that would be and also be on the
bus line etc.  Not that I know the area that well.

Start up Capital - This is a big deal.  A mill, a lathe, a 3d printer,
computers, welder, hand tools, etc.  This is not an easy thing to

Insurance - This is something I have been very eager to talk to the
Artisan's Asylum people about. They require users to take a short
course to be "certified" on a machine, but these are generally large,
dangerous machines.  I worry that they are one serious injury away
from being closed down.

Return on Investment - Amazingly, Artisan's Asylum costs about the
same as a gym membership.  Even though they have hundreds of members,
it is not clear how they stay in business with constant upkeep of
their technology.  That said, they keep on expanding.  I suspect they
must be getting city or state grant money of some kind.

This said, I think it would be great to have something like Artisan's
Assylum in our area, and I would love to help if I can.

- Michael

On Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 3:49 PM, Rich Roth <webmaster at hidden-tech.net> wrote:
>    ** Be sure to fill out the survey/skills inventory in the member's area.
>    ** If you did, we all thank you.
> Please be sure to tell us (at HT) about it - I know there is interest around here
> Rich
> On 3/26/2013 10:04 AM, Steven Brewer wrote:
>>     ** Be sure to fill out the survey/skills inventory in the member's area.
>>     ** If you did, we all thank you.
>> On 3/26/13 9:53 AM, Ron Blechner wrote:
>>> I would love to see a DIY space in the Valley be founded, including 3d
>>> printing, access to circuit, metal, and wood crafting tools in the
>>> space, and classes and such.
>> I think many of us have been talking about trying to organize a
>> Makerspace for a while.  I spoke with Tony Maroulis (from Amherst
>> Chamber) about looking for space downtown and he was enthusiastic.  Once
>> the ICT Summit is done, I'm planning to start putting together a
>> proposal.  Or if someone is already farther along in their thinking, I'm
>> happy to just pitch in.
>> Cheers!
> --
> Rich Roth
> Webmaster/Steering Committee Member
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Michael White
CEO/CTO, Templeman Automation LLC


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