A smoldering cauldron of copper; 40,000 square feet (Artisan’s Asylum)of tools, projects, and people; a convenience store (parts and crafts) converted by homeschoolers into a playful maker space; a glassy design studio (NuVu) with tools occupied by middle and high school students from multiple metro-Boston schools; and a basement community center in South Boston equipped with a free fab lab. What do all these spaces have in common? The Met School/FabNewport Team visited them on Thursday on an inspirational 2 day, 500- mile Maker Extravaganza. Message: Makers of all shapes and sizes are on a mission stoke the engines of inquiry and learning.
The Maker Movement is very much under way at East Bay as six of our students intern at FabNewport under the tutelage of Nick Logler, FabNewport’s technical director and lead instructor. Nick is teaching Kyle, Conner, Taylor, Marky, Pat, and Kyler how to design in 3 dimensions. Conner designed a coffin key chain to hold guitar picks which has been downloaded more than 16 times on Thingiverse. Students are engaged in turning 2D drawings, from 1903, into 3D in an effort to create parts for a Herreshoff Museum exhibit of the largest single-masted sailing vessel built. The “cauldron of copper” was at Harrison Casting, in Johnston, our first stop on Thursday. Harrison will turn our 3D plastic prints into molds and before casting them in copper for the 1/6 scale model of Reliance.
On day two of our Maker Extravaganza we attended the DigiFab Conference at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. The conference, organized by Newport native Sarah Boisevert, brought together leaders in industry and education to discuss the disruptive power the digital manufacturing revolution is having on industry and education.