Creative art lab receives $5K donation for new equipmentSep 6, 2015 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer
The CNC router is capable of making furniture and models for building houses.
The Maker Space 307 lab in Fort Washakie is closer to getting a CNC router -- a piece of equipment capable of making furniture and models for building houses. Wells Fargo in Riverton donated $5,000 to the creative art lab, which makes use of 3-D printers, laser cutters and plotters. The lab also offers classes to the public.
Maker Space coordinator Lorre Hoffman said the machine will add more ways to be creative at the lab, located at the Frank B. Wise Business Plaza.
"It will really change the scale of things we can do at Maker Space 307," Hoffman said. "We are about $10,000 short of the very minimum we would need to buy the equipment."
She added that there also will be an expense for training staff on how to use the machine, which is also called a ShopBot. The machine can be purchased online, and Hoffman said the lab has applied for grants that may pay for it.
The CNC router is controlled or guided by a computer through design and drafting programs. A large format CNC is capable of cutting 4-by-4, 8-foot sheet stock, Hoffman said. It can cut material like aluminum, wood, steel, plastic and foam.
Hoffman said the machine is expensive, so the lab also is looking into acquiring other equipment that will extend its capabilities.
"(We) may be purchasing a liquid 3-D printer instead, as well as an electric kiln and casting equipment," she said. "The liquid 3-D printer gives a superior model to anything that is on the market as the layers are so small you can't detect them with the human eye."
Hoffman said the liquid printer also can be used with different kinds of material that the other filament type 3-D printers can't use.
"One of these materials can be burned out of a mold or steamed out allowing for metal castings to be made on site," she said. "This also allows us to work out some partnerships with the local and regional foundries."
Maker Space 307 has a new poster-size printer that can handle 4-foot wide, full-color prints of any length.