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If you're a maker, the Harvester Center may soon have a place for you

Are you a maker? Perhaps you are, and don't even know it.

There's makers all over the country these days -- people who are inventive and like creating new and innovative things.

It's a whole culture.

And it's coming to Batavia, where business innovation has strong roots -- the Harvester Center.

Tom Mancuso and some of his friends have been talking for a year about creating a maker community locally. Last week, they put their plan into action, hosting a 3-D printing demonstration with local design and manufacturing expert James Dillon.

3-D printing is one of the widely used tools for creating in the maker community. The printer works much like any printer, except it doesn't use ink or paper. It uses plastics and other material to layer material into a computer generated form. It might be a cup, a model airplane or a part for a car, or just about anything the maker can imagine.

Makers also work with electronics, robotics, metalworking, woodworking, and traditional arts and crafts.

Mancuso said the plan is to create a space in the Harvester Center -- if there's enough interest in the community -- where makers can come and create and innovate together.

The space will be open (possibly with a fee like a health club) to artists, hobbyists, trainees and budding entrepreneurs. 

Makers will have available a variety of tools, from welding equipment, vacuum forms, laser cutters and, of course, a 3-D printer. There will be big spaces, which the hobbyist doesn't necessarily have at home.

"Maybe you work at home, but you want to do a bigger project," Mancuso said. "Where do you go to do that? You're limited by your equipment, by your workspace. We're trying to help those start-up hobby guys maybe go to the next level."

A gear created by the 3-D printer.

James Dillon with one of his first 3-D printing projects, a model jet.

3-D printer on the right.

terry paine
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I'm in. Already have a printer. How do I find out more info.

Elizabeth Downie
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Awesome idea! Where would one go for more information??

Ed Hartgrove
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Elizabeth, I believe if you call MANCUSO BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT GROUP at 585-343-2800 (during normal business hours), someone there can help you.

Pssst! Any hint on what'cha want to build, or is it hush-hush?

I'm just being nosey.

Elizabeth Downie
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Ed - Nothing serious. I am just a creative person who likes to craft, but I have no space in my house to set up a crafting area. My husband also likes to tinker with his RC heli and, again, he just doesn't have sufficient room for it. If there were a place that we could rent temporary space for small projects, such as crafting and RC heli projects, that would be wonderful! Plus, I bet my hubby and I would love to learn how to use a 3D printer for some ideas we've had in the past, so who knows what it may grow into! Thanks for the info!

Ed Hartgrove
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I went through the Precision Machining course at BOCES in the late-90's, and part of that course was CAD (Computer Aided Design). Part of the course is learning (the basics) of designing 3D parts using a computer. It was a great introductory course, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

And, of course, nowadays you can find many videos on youtube about 3D printing.

Ed Hartgrove
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BTW, don't get scared by Comment #6.
From what I've seen about 3D printing, you don't necessarily need (CAD) designing to 'make' something.
The computers today used for 3D printing can replicate pretty much anything you want to duplicate.
Example: Your pet goat ate one of the 'knights' from your 60-year-old chess set, and you're tired of looking at the rusty nuts-and-bolt you've been using in it's place. Put one of the other knights in the 3D printing machine, and it will do the 'scanning' for you, and can make a duplicate piece.

Again, check 'em out on youtube.

Ed Hartgrove
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http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=X5AZzOw7FwA

Tim Miller
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Ed - what do you have against rusty nuts-and-bolts? Are you an anti-rustite?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ythrdCsOFJU

Ed Hartgrove
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One of my all time favorire shows, Tim. Thanks!

I have several Far Side books, also.
Love strange humor.

Elizabeth Downie
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Thanks for all the great info, Ed!! You've been very helpful!

Ed Hartgrove
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You're welcome, Elizabeth.
Good luck!

Psssst. Please don't let that 'been helpful' thing get around. I've got a reputation to keep, ya' know.

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