Making Makers

ribboncuttingSANTA CRUZ > Local 3D modeling company, MakersFactory, wants to breed new innovators

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, MakersFactory, a new printing and modeling company that features state-of-the-art 3D technology, celebrated its ribbon cutting ceremony. The event was officiated by Santa Cruz Mayor Don Lane, Vice Mayor Hilary Bryant, and Councilmember Lynn Robinson.

Chris Yonge and Dave Britton originally founded MakersFactory back in November 2011. The company specializes in providing the Santa Cruz community with the technology necessary to laser cut card and wood, print three-dimensional objects, make vinyl graphics for windows and vehicles, create computer animation, and even build robotic devices.

MakersFactory offers classes for people of all ages that teach the techniques behind using their equipment to create their own personal projects. Finished sculptures about the size of someone’s fist were on display at the ceremony, and Jim Abendschan, a business partner of Yonge and Britton, explained to GT how one piece in particular was created using powder printers.

“This sculpture was made through a process of additive manufacturing,” he said. “Powder is added layer by layer, and whatever is not needed is filtered out, so that way everything is reused and nothing is wasted. Once the sculpture is complete, it then dries. The whole procedure for this kind of product takes about two hours.”

The powder printers can be used to make a variety of products, including geophysical representations of topographical maps and small-scale architectural models. Abendschan explained that powder-printing technology was taking off, and that it may be used to build components for making houses and crafting synthetic joints for knees and elbows.

MakersFactory’s original intent was to educate people on how to use the equipment in their studio, but since opening its doors, it has since expanded to working on outside projects that have been sent in. The company still intends to focus on education, however, with special classes offered multiple times a week. According to Abendschand, using the printers and other equipment is a skill that is within the grasp of most people, but it helps to understand size and dimensions and to also like working with computers.

 At the ribbon cutting, Yonge told an enthusiastic crowd that he and Britton were excited by the prospect of working with other creative professionals and taking their business forward. “For the first time, people can take a 3D idea from their head and turn it into a 3D model without having to work with a 2D representation,” said Yonge.

After the ribbon cutting, Britton showed Mayor Lane around the studio, as waves of enthusiastic people filtered in and out of the room checking out MakersFactory’s printers, cutters, and finished products. “We’re very appreciative of all the attention and recognition we’re getting,” Abenschand told GT.

MakersFactory  is located at 877 Cedar St. in Downtown Santa Cruz. Visit their official website, makersfactory.com, for more details and class schedules. 


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