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August 5, 2014 - 1:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Harvester Center, makers, maker community.

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.

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