CNM Makerspace offers opportunity to inventors and entrepreneurs.

Photos and story by Wade Faast

Staff Reporter

Open to CNM Students and the public through membership, Makerspace offers advanced equipment and training for inventors and hobbyist who could not otherwise afford the tools necessary, CNM instructor James Berry said.

Students and members are currently working on a wide range of projects including skateboards, snowboards, guitars, signs, guitar amps, and drone quadcopters, he said.

The Makerspace offers most of the tools needed for modern fabrication including a CNC mill, CNC plasma cutter, laser cutter, 3D printers and more, he said.

Part of the program focus is Made in America, Berry said.

Member and instructor Marty Bonacci makes custom snowboards and wooded guitar bodies that are sold to enthusiasts looking to build their own guitars, Bonacci said.

Bonacci used to manufacture large quantities for major snowboard companies, unfortunately he could not compete with Chinese companies on price, he said.

Now Bonacci makes custom one of a kind snowboards using the tools at makerspace, these single order custom snowboards are something that Chinese manufacturers can not do, he said.

CNM Student Employee Odaro Ehiman, is currently working on a quadcopter drone for personal use, he said.

Using CNC water jet cutter for the aluminum chassis, laser cutter for the wooden arms and soldering tools for electronic connections Ehiman has built a working drone at a fraction of the cost, he said.

Ehiman is a second year Radiologic Technology major, as such is routinely exposed to x-rays and other radiation, personal dosimeters and exposure indicators can be very expensive costing between $300-1400 a piece, he said.

For less than $5 in parts and the tools available at Makerspace he was able to build a small battery powered x-ray exposure indicator that flashes when exposed to x-rays, Ehiman said.

CNM’s makerspace opened in the fall of 2015 with a $100,000 grant from Intel and an additional $40,000 in grants from other sources, James Berry said.

Monthly membership fees are $75 for the general public or $50 for CNM students, he said.

To use the equipment in Makerspace members must attend workshops hosted by Makerspace that teach members how to safely use the equipment he said.

CNM students enrolled in Rapid Prototyping classes will have more in-depth instruction on how to operate the equipment and create using the tools available, Berry said.


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