#madeatMIDAS Let Grow Urns

#madeatMIDAS: Let Grow Urns

#madeatMIDAS Let Grow Urns
MIDAS makes recent advances in manufacturing technology, which includes 3D Printing, accessible to West Kootenay companies, entrepreneurs and students.

This is #madeatMIDAS where we showcase the variety of incredible applications possible with products created here at the MIDAS fabrication lab.

MIDAS supports the expansion and development of local small and medium-sized companies’ strengths in collaborating, adopting technology, and creating new and marketable products while promoting skills training opportunities in digital fabrication and metallurgical technology for entrepreneurs, company personnel and students.

Let Grow Urns materialized in November 2016 out of a hardship that all pet owners eventually encounter. After many years of companionship, the Cleland’s were burdened with the loss of their beloved family pet Ginger. Already faced with the vet bills, they now had to deal with the task of finding a suitable urn and awaiting its arrival.

Inspired with a great idea and through valuable assistance at the MIDAS lab, Gordon could create something as unique and special as Ginger was, in honor of her. He quickly got to work designing a custom made urn, and during this process he had a eureka moment. Printing with biodegradable PLA plastic, Gordon was able to include something very special. He added wildflower seeds to the urn, so that when the time came, Ginger’s urn could be buried, returning her to the earth where something as beautiful could then grow.  And thus, Let Grow Urns was born.

“Being a member of MIDAS has allows me to bring my many ideas to life, truly amazing leadership and staff. If you’re a hacker/inventor this is the place to be a part of.  My experience with MIDAS has been life changing, it’s given me the education and guidance to bring my many ideas to life.
Thank you MIDAS!”
Bring your idea and let MIDAS help you make it come to life!


#madeatMIDAS: Austin Engineering

MIDAS makes recent advances in manufacturing technology, which includes 3D Printing, accessible to West Kootenay companies, entrepreneurs and students.

This is #madeatMIDAS where we showcase the variety of incredible applications possible with products created here at the MIDAS fabrication lab.

MIDAS supports the expansion and development of local small and medium-sized companies’ strengths in collaborating, adopting technology, and creating new and marketable products while promoting skills training opportunities in digital fabrication and metallurgical technology for entrepreneurs, company personnel and students.

Austin Engineering provides clients with cutting-edge solutions and innovative designs developed in part at their research & development space in the MIDAS facility.  At their R & D facility at MIDAS they utilize 3D printed modelling of spillways, dams and flow pathways; spillway and hydraulic structure modelling; and cutting-edge fluid mechanics.

Additional areas of research and development include robotics and aerial inspection tools. Austin Engineering Ltd., is committed to providing innovative designs that allow clients to optimize their projects and meet budgets.

Austin Engineering has deeply valued the opportunity to be a part of the MIDAS facility since its opening. Brad, the space, and meeting other like minded businesses and tech enthusiasts expanded our vision on what was possible for our business. We have been able to demonstrate our innovative offerings to many of the stakeholders and had our staff able to access and train on equipment that would have been beyond our reach otherwise. We look forward to seeing all the positive developments and startups that come from the facility.


Metal Additive Design Guide

A new introductory design guide for metal 3D printing is now available.

Canada Makes is proud to announce the launch of the Metal Additive Design Guide and invites you to explore this great new tool. The Guide was developed to assist companies interested in trying metal additive manufacturing (AM). Following the same format as the Metal Additive Process Guide, the Metal Additive Design Guide is once again a free service that introduces certain concepts needed when designing for additive manufacturing (DfAD).

Metal-additive-design-guide-2-300x182“The Metal Additive Design Guide is easy to use, interactive, offering useful information for newcomers to this technology,” said Frank Defalco, Manager Canada Makes. “Its primary function is to help guide Canadian SMEs looking at metal AM and how it might be added to their process. It’s a great educational resource bringing great value to users and it’s just plain cool.”

Simple, yet crucial questions like, “how big can my parts be” or, “what materials can I use” are answered in this interactive app. The Guide is not designed for the experienced metal AM user but rather someone looking for quick and straightforward answers regarding DfAM.

“Canada Makes’ goal is to assist Canadian industry in adopting additive manufacturing and the Metal Additive Design Guide continues in that vain where the Metal Additive Process Guide left off,” added Defalco.

Time saving is one of the major advantage in adopting AM processes versus traditional manufacturing. Through this free resource SMEs can receive quick answers to certain concepts about metal additive. The Guide will help speed up Canada’s manufacturing sector in understanding the capabilities of metal AM. This knowledge should expand AM adoption and invigorate Canada’s burgeoning AM supply chain, growing Canada’s competitiveness.

Check it out HERE!


Tinkerine Expands Education Initiative after Successful Pilot


Tinkerine is pleased to announce that as the result of a successful pilot in the British Columbia education market, Tinkerine is expanding the 1:1:1 Education Initiative that targets learning institutions seeking to expand on their 3D printing education and associated content.

Tinkerine aims to make the opportunity to develop these essential skills more readily available, we envision a learning environment where each student in every STEAM classroom is equipped with a 3D printer. Removing the time constraint of sharing printers enables students to focus on what really matters: engineering real world problems, expanding their creativity and so much more. The 1:1:1 education bundle is a big step towards making this vision a reality.

This initiative is aimed at providing one (1) DittoPro 3D printer for each student in each STEAM classroom in learning facilities. This includes elementary and high schools, post-secondary institutions and other learning facilities that have an active computer lab.

Read more HERE.



What is 3D Printing? A How-To to Additive Manufacturing

What is 3D Printing? A How-To to Additive Manufacturing

What is 3D Printing? A How-To to Additive Manufacturing3D Printing is an additive manufacturing process that creates a physical object from a digital design.

Though the 3D printing technologies and materials upon which digital designs are printed may vary, the principle is the same: a digital model is turned into a solid three-dimensional physical object by adding material layer by layer.

How does 3D printing work?

Every model begins with a digital design.  Using a digital 3D design file – essentially, a blueprint – and is sliced into thin layers which is then sent to the 3D printer.

From here the printing process can vary by technology, from desktop printers that melt a plastic material and lay it down onto a print platform to large industrial machines that use a laser to selectively melt metal powder at high temperatures. The printing can take hours to complete depending on the size, and the printed objects are often post-processed to reach the desired finish.

Available materials also vary by printer type, ranging from plastics to rubber, sandstone, metals and alloys – with more and more materials appearing on the market every year.

A Brief History of 3D Printing

Although 3D printing is commonly thought of as a new ‘futuristic’ concept, it has actually been around for more than 30 years.

Chuck Hull invented the first 3D printing process called ‘stereolithography’ in 1983. In a patent, he defined stereolithography as ‘a method and apparatus for making solid objects by successively “printing” thin layers of the ultraviolet curable material one on top of the other’. This patent only focuses on ‘printing’ with a light curable liquid, but after Hull founded the company ‘3D Systems’, he soon realized his technique was not limited to only liquids, expanding the definition to ‘any material capable of solidification or capable of altering its physical state’. With this, he built the foundation of what we now know today as additive manufacturing (AM) – or 3D printing.

So, why all the excitement over 3D printing today?

Until 2009, 3D printing was mostly limited to industrial uses, but then the patent for fused deposition modeling (FDM) – one of the most common 3D printing technologies – expired.

Through the RepRap project’s mission to build a self-replicating machine, the first desktop 3D printer was born. As more and more manufacturers followed, what once cost $200,000 suddenly became available for below $2000, and the consumer 3D printing market took off in 2009.

3D printer sales have been growing ever since, and as additive manufacturing patents continue to expire, more innovations can be expected in the years to come. There are now roughly 300,000 consumer 3D printers in the world – and this figure is doubling every year.

Thank you, CANADA Makes!


MIDAS Fab Lab Creaform 3D Scanner intro and Demo class

Here is a snippet of the class in video format. The Creaform scans at the micron level. Watch the video to witness the amazing detail. It makes capturing an object and importing it into to design software for prototyping, editing and/or printing saves time, money and improves accuracy.

The LAB (new images)

A few photos to give you a look the inside of MIDAS

Metal lab


Electronic Lab feat. Arduino powered robo arm (we can show you how to make this at MIDAS)


The Delta printer creating..


CNC devices

Learning Center

Also check our equipment page.. https://www.midaslab.ca/equipment/

Made at MIDAS


Lab Director, Brad Pommen, demonstrates the CNC plasma cutter on opening day at the MIDAS Lab in Trail, BC. Showing off a “Made at MIDAS” prototype, members can learn how to use the metal cutting machine with a standard whiteboard marker in place of the live torch. “Building our own tools is what MIDAS is all about. Taking a problem, finding a solution and being able to pursue a meaningful end is where good business ideas start. This fab lab will help democratize tools and resources into the hands of makers, this is where we show the world that technology comes from the heart of the Kootenays.

MIDAS in the News: Rossland and Trail attracting technology talent


Rossland is best known for its skiing. Over the years, it has produced a disproportionate number of Olympic skiers – Nancy Greene Raine among them – and has been voted one of the top 10 places in the world to visit by the New York Times and No. 1 ski town in North America by Powder Magazine.
But the tiny B.C. town of 3,600 – tucked away in the bottom southeast corner of the province – is reinventing and marketing itself as the next satellite of Silicon Valley North….

Trail, however, which is just a 10-minute drive from Rossland, has rail service – including the BNSF Railway – and a regional airport that will soon undergo an expansion.

Another initiative aimed at developing high-tech and manufacturing sectors is the new Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration and Studies (MIDAS) centre in Trail.

Built with funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada and Columbia Basin Trust, the $2 million facility is a research and development and commercialization centre for manufacturing.

The new institute includes a fabrication lab with $400,000 worth of digital manufacturing equipment: 3D printers and scanners, laser cutters, lathes and CNC (computer numeric control) machining tools.

Entrepreneurs can buy a membership and use the lab to design prototypes of everything from toys and medical devices to drones and airplane components.

MIDAS also provides business support services to help entrepreneurs commercialize new products.

“One of our assets is having a metallurgical cluster,” said MIDAS project director Amber Hayes. “In Trail, we have Teck. There’s a number of different businesses that have sprung up to support Teck or use byproducts of Teck, and MIDAS is involved in research and development projects in partnership with Teck and the University of British Columbia-Okanagan…..

(click article to read more )


From NASA: ‘Think Outside the Box’ 3D Printing Challenge

NASA: Think Outside The Box Challenge

Last month, the Cynus cargo ship was equipped with the Made In Space Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) destined for the International Space Station to begin printing in 3D orders for over 20 customers previously secured by Made In Space. Included in these orders are medical research components, parts for satellites and other spacecraft, and even parts for high school projects and design contests.

In honour of its successful arrival alongside the first expandable habitat, Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), to the International Space Station (ISS) – designed to take up less room on a rocket, but provide greater volume for living and working in space once expanded – Nasa and non-profit ASME Foundation have launched a new “Future Engineers” challenge.

In the spirit of such ingenuity and innovation, the “Think Outside the Box” challenge inspires students to design something astronauts can print with the newly arrived 3D printer, limited by the dimensions of the apparatus – 10 cm x 10 cm x 14 cm –but, once assembled, is actually larger than those parameters, literally ‘outside the box’!

Making more with less: a must in space!

When it comes to space exploration, actual space is a hot commodity. The “Think Outside the Box” challenge addresses this priority, as rocket payloads are limited to save cargo space and fuel and sustainable technologies are needed to reduce, reuse, and recycle what is brought up.

Pioneering space technologies to inspire, examples of innovation to overcome the challenges of such significant limitations, include the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (Beam) and the Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) of Made In Space.

Beam allows for the transport of a relatively small package to expand upon arrival, and AMF, a permanent, commercial manufacturing facility, offers the opportunity to purchase necessary hardware in space instead of launching it.  The AMF 3D printer will also provide research that advances the long-term goal of developing off-planet manufacturing capabilities for destinations like the moon or Mars.

Think Outside the Box inspiring new generation of scientists and engineers

For young scientists and engineers, the Think Outside the Box challenge opens up a new world of possibilities in addition to exciting prizes.

The junior and teenage winners will receive a trip to Las Vegas for a VIP tour of Bigelow Aerospace and the finalists will win an expedition-worthy inflatable tent from Heimplanet.

The challenge will remain open through the summer and students must submit their expandable designs by August 1, 2016.