The Not Suckiness Begins - Technical and Tactile Explorers
This all started at Tinkersmiths Makerspace with a bunch of open minded technical and tactile explorers. As we begun with a fairly traditional tradesman tool suite our first quest was to explore motion controls systems. A far cry from the table and band saw we decided to start of with a small kit called the egg-bot. This was our foray into the mechatronic world that would soon consume us.
At that time we were two dozen or so people looking to try new things. A year later we were 50-ish people an moving from a 700 sq/ft triangle shaped room to a 3,800 sq/ft facility at the newly formed IX Art Park in near the Downtown Mall inCharlottesville Virginia.
The first thing we decided to build at the new place was a small Shapoko CNC Kit. What was, well to easy for us at this point. So we made a big jump to building our own custom 4'x8' gantry style CNC. This has been running very well for the last three years and is what allows us to make all the neat things we produce. If you are unfamiliar which this type of machine think of it as a big flat bed puzzle piece cutter, or computerized routing table.
Within our four years there Tinkersmiths grew to over 800 members. It as one of the most awesome spiritually and intellectually rewarding experiences for so many of us core members. Over time the cost keeping this all going became more than we could generate to self sustaining. What came out of that was several start up companies that went to try to make positive change. For us this all evolved into PEV Labs, a digital fabrication and prototyping shop which provides professional making services.
Here we will take time to share our story of fabricatory evolution.