We’re Hiring! MIDAS Community Engagement Coordinator

We're Hiring! MIDAS Community Engagement Coordinator

Work at one of the most innovative and disruptive organizations in the Kootenays! MIDAS Community Engagement Coordinator

Closing date: January 2nd, 2019 @ 4:00 pm PST

MIDAS is a digital fabrication lab in Trail, BC.  MIDAS (Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration & Studies), is a project of the Kootenay Association for Science & Technology (www.kast.com). MIDAS offers the best “FAB”rication equipment available in the Kootenays for public, academic and commercial use. The facility is a renovated accessible space with state of the art equipment and training including: 3D Printers, 3D scanners, CNC milling equipment, metal shop, woodworking, an electronics lab, teaching and co-working space and more. 

Working as part of a progressive, motivated team, the main responsibilities of the MIDAS Community Engagement Coordinator will be to provide support to the Director, Lab Manager and Lab staff, and to provide exceptional customer service to MIDAS members, potential members, the general public and our commercial clientele.

You will be at the front line at MIDAS, and you will be able and ready to switch tasks throughout the day to accommodate the needs of members and operational staff at the facility. That said, we’re a super fun team and MIDAS is a rewarding place to work.

Closing date: January 2nd, 2019 @ 4:00 pm PST

Primary duties:

Engagement/Communications:

  • As the first point of contact at the MIDAS lab, you will provide professional and courteous customer service by greeting and guiding guests, answering inquiries, and referring them to the appropriate staff member.
  • Ensuring website, social media, training and operations calendars are updated daily and working with our media provider to strategize social media posts.
  • Using strong time management and organizational skills, you will act as the main liaison for tours, groups and event bookings; you will be assisting in set up and hosting of courses, tours and events.

Records Management & Reporting:

  • CRM Building; you will be responsible for maintaining a database of members and potential leads, following up on leads and ensuring information is accurate.
  • Compiling accurate monthly statistics/metrics for management team and maintaining standard operating procedures and maintenance records, monitor and document lab usage.

Health & Safety:

  • Manage and assist in Health & Safety, ensuring rules and regulations are followed precisely
  • Maintain accurate health and safety records per WorkSafe BC guidelines.
  • Assist / Administer and document first aid as required (First Aid training provided if not already possessing)

Other duties as assigned.

Requirements and Qualifications:

MIDAS is looking for a creative and motivated individual with confidence, good judgement, flexibility, and a desire to learn.

You will portray professionalism and discretion while showing a sense of humour as you provide a high level of service to MIDAS lab staff, and all stakeholders.

Proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word/Excel) and Google Suite is required.

Post Secondary education is preferred, however we will consider equivalent experience.

Hours of work: The successful candidate will be willing to work flexible hours from Monday-Friday, 30 hours per week.

Hourly rate: $18-$20 depending upon experience

To apply:

Closing date: January 2nd, 2019 @ 4:00 pm PST

Please provide a resume and cover letter telling us about yourself and why you feel you are a great fit for our team.  Email info@midaslab.ca

No phone calls please.

Kootenay Association for Science & Technology (KAST)

 

#madeatMIDAS: Pulse Labs Inc. ProFlex

Pulse Labs Pulse Proflex Kickstarter

Revelstoke’s Pulse Labs Inc. is serious about getting the right fit – and flex! – in a ski boot!

If you’ve recently been sizing ski boots, chances are you’ve encountered some unreliability when it comes to flex rating, even in boots of the same brand.

Enter Pulse Labs Inc.

With their extensive expertise and new and innovative boot fitting system they’ve come up with the answer to the flex issue with a convenient and effective aftermarket accessory: The Pulse ProFlex. Developed and prototyped with the help of the MIDAS Fab Lab!

The flex in a ski boot refers to how difficult it is to flex the boot forward. Boot flex ranges from very soft to a stiffness required for racing, indicated by a numeric “flex index” typically from 50 (soft) to 130 (very stiff). Frustratingly, for skiers of all skill levels, this number is rather arbitrary and a 100 flex rating, for example, can vary from boot to boot, even from the same manufacturer.

Check out the Pulse ProFlex Kickstarter>>

The Pulse ProFlex is a ski boot insert created specifically to stiffen almost any two-piece ski boot by 15 to 30 per cent. It’s been made to be easy to install without altering or compromising the fit of the boot.

Current bootmakers prioritize features and convenience – walk modes, tech fittings, thinner walls and lightweight plastics – over stiffness and performance. Innovator and partner in Pulse Boot Lab & Ski Co., Kai Palkeinen, was looking for more. Understanding that serious skiers have been left wanting, he saw the need for a reliable, aftermarket solution that had the power to amp up the flex and, ultimately, the performance of any ski boot.

So the ProFlex was born. With the help of our team at MIDAS!

Beginning over a year ago, the team at MIDAS, specifically Lab Director, Brad Pommen, assisted in scanning the prototype and producing 3D models to help identify the size, shape, and positioning of what would become the ProFlex. Through several iterations and many communications between Pulse Labs’ Matt Moor and Brad, fundamental challenges were identified.

MIDAS provided the opportunities and resources for learning!

The learning process not only helped refine the design and drawings that would be sent on to the engineers, but the experience also helped to answer the important question: which manufacturing process would provide the best product?

For instance, after delving deep into carbon fibre, vacuum moulding and even 3D printing at MIDAS it was established that none of these would provide the necessary rigidity or rebound for an effective insert. To achieve what the company needed, injection molds were found to be the way to go.

Through MIDAS, Kai explained, “We went from knowing nothing to gaining a far better understanding.”

Kai learned how “complicated, difficult, and expensive, not to mention arduous the manufacturing process is”. MIDAS and the Fab Lab team helped alleviate some of this stress and hard work, facilitating rapid prototyping, exploration, experimentation, and tweaking, in a fraction of the time and expense that it would have taken otherwise.

“Without MIDAS we may not have made it to the end result.”

Looking for additional stiffness and performance in your ski boots or those of a skier you love? Be sure to get the Pulse ProFlex – support the Kickstarter Campaign>>

Just in time for Christmas!

Curious about all that’s available – and possible! – at MIDAS? Join us for a tour: Thursdays at 6pm!

 

 

A Great Combination: Trail Smoke Eaters and MIDAS!

Tracy Connery Photography - MadeatMIDAS Trail Smoke Eaters

We support our local Smoke Eaters! Hockey and makers go together like glue on wood, a solder iron on metal, skates on ice!

As a proud supporter of the Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey team, KAST has donated 10 MIDAS Fab Lab gift certificates. Lucky winners receive a choice of Laser Cutter or 3D Printer Course, where they can learn, be inspired, and enjoy the opportunity to work with the best in the biz – the MIDAS Fab Lab team!

So, check out the game schedule and make sure you come on out and enjoy a fun-filled, action-packed hockey night andhave a chance to win some wonderful prizes!

If you’d like to know more about the possibilities – so many! – available here at MIDAS, please click HERE.

Still curious? Join us for our MIDAS Public Tours, every Thursday evening at 6:00 pm.

Check out the range of courses and training on offer at MIDAS (2019 schedule currently in the works – lots to come!)

Go Smoke Eaters!

#madeatMIDAS: Advanced BioCarbon 3D (ABC3D)

Advanced BioCarbon 3D #madeatMIDAS

Advanced BioCarbon 3D, #madeatMIDAS Corporate Member and co-locator here at MIDAS marries environmental sustainability and innovation with their carbon negative bioplastics.

We are very proud of the accomplishments achieved by the growing list of Corporate Members. It’s inspiring to see each of them fulfilling their innovation and business aspirations with the help of the range of resources available in our MIT-certified Fab Lab.

A fruitful partnership we’ve excitedly been witness to between ABC3D and Selkirk College Applied Research Innovation Centre and recipients of a research grant through the SMARTS Program. SMARTS engages in research resulting in the development of innovative products or services, with the goal of expanding the offerings that local businesses can bring to market.

Earlier this year, Rossland’s Darrel Fry, CEO of Advanced BioCarbon 3D, and Jason Taylor of Selkirk College were awarded $300,000 through the Innovate BC Ignite Program to develop a new type of 3D-printing filament. The research project is focused on creating a new 3D printing filament to address the pressing issue of excessive plastics in 3D printing and manufacturing.

The $300,000 awarded to the project has allowed ABC3D to buy equipment and bring on employees integral to the continuing research and development.

The filament is made from 100% biodegradable, engineering grade plastics and carbon fibre derived from lignin, the natural glue-like fibres found inside of wood.

#MadeatMIDAS_Advance BioCarbon 3D

Well beyond plastic: carbon fibre. Engineering grade AND biodegradable.

ABC3D is an advanced materials company specializing in bi0degradable plastics and carbon fibres and has taken up residence in the MIDAS Fab Lab to expand its research, development, and production.

Looking to come up with a solution for the over-abundance of plastics used, and inevitably, polluting the earth on such an incredible scale, Advanced BioCarbon 3D creates a product that is, remarkably, engineering grade and 100% biodegradable.

Safe for people, animals, and nature, the ABC3D plastics and carbon fibre are created using a closed loop system with no waste. The innovative startup’s beachhead into the industry is biodegradable filaments, in production at MIDAS, extracting resins from wood and mixing them with other polymers to make plastic.

#MadeatMIDAS_Advance BioCarbon 3D

The goal of the business is all at once ambitious and noble. According to Mr. Fry, “We’ve been coming it at it through demand management, trying to promote less use, re-use, recycling and the like. As we all know of course trying to plug the pipe at the end never truly works. Moving to a supply management where rather than using less plastic we aim to use better plastic would seem to be a better route.”

While ABC3D is producing products in the 3D printing filament market, with their engineered grade quality bioplastics, previously unavailable, the company is seeing the huge potential to impact other markets. Specifically, Fry has his eye fixed on carbon fibre filaments to be used in industries such as automotive, airline, solar energy, housebuilding, batteries, and more.

“I don’t see how we can continue down the path of conventional plastics,” said Fry. “The planet can no longer sustain the amount of plastic being put into the oceans and across our landscape, nor can it sustain the carbon emissions from petroleum products. Everyone knows we need to take action.

“Nature has been making (natural plastic) for three billion years, and disposing of it for three billion years. Nature already has in place the bacteria and decomposition team it needs to break down plastic that is made from wood.”

Employee Ian, developing skills and getting the valuable training he needs to further his own professional development with the help of Advanced BioCarbon 3D.ABC3D has taken advantage of other funding opportunities to help develop his innovative products. Through the NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) Youth Employment Program (YEP) and Youth-Green Program, on behalf of the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy (YES), the company has hired Ian, who is learning the R and D ropes; developing skills and getting the valuable training he needs to further his own professional development with the help of Advanced BioCarbon 3D.

Fry’s route to sustainability has begun with a blended 3D filament containing 40% of their proprietary wood product and 60% conventional plastic. The goal: subsequent iterations that lead to a truly environmentally sustainable 100% wood bioplastic.

#madeatMIDAS #metaltechalley

Listen to the rest of this amazing story HERE.

SMARTS Program: Selkirk SME Applied Research and Technology Solutions

SME Applied Research & Technology Solutions (SMARTS) Program

The SMARTS Program: Connecting small- and medium-sized businesses with research expertise in the fields of geospatial technology and digital fabrication. 

It’s those companies that invite innovation and embrace technology that are leading today’s competitive economy.

Selkirk College, a hidden academic gem here in the West Kootenay steps in to help, offering specific and much-needed applied research support to help businesses develop new or improved products and services.

The SMARTS program builds on the Adopting Digital Technologies program, a success story featured by the National Research Council, which provided small- and medium-sized businesses with direct support, technical training, and advisory services aimed at increasing productivity through the use of digital technologies.

Support for Development of Products and Services

The SMARTS program aims to engage in research that results in the development of innovative products or services, expanding the offerings, that local businesses can bring to market.

Businesses may be eligible for the SMARTS program if they:

  • Have less than 500 employees
  • Are growth-oriented
  • Are located in Canada

Selkirk College knows that research and development partnerships that involve marketable products or services require strict confidentiality. Businesses can rest assured that the College maintains confidentiality protocols to protect the interests of both the business and the College. Selkirk College also understands the need to complete work in ‘business time’ and will work with business to move the idea to action efficiently and effectively.

Do you have a project idea that you want to explore with the SMARTS team? Want to discuss your expertise and funding needs? Find out more!

A Sample of R&D Services

Geospatial Technologies

WEB MAPPING
– Developing custom mapping platforms for data sharing and communications

3D VISUALIZATIONS
– Generating static and dynamic visualisations of 3D geospatial data – Developing augmented reality and virtual reality applications

REMOTE SENSING
– Collecting data via UAV
– Testing sensors
– Analysing remotely sensed data from UAV or satellite – Developing workflows and algorithms

SPATIAL MODELING
– Modeling landscape impacts of environmental change

APP DEVELOPMENT AND CUSTOMIZATION
– Building customized mobile tools for geospatial data collection and sharing – Researching and testing technology options

Digital Fabrication

RAPID PROTOTYPING
– Producing prototypes
– Researching and testing prototype designs and materials

3D MODELING
– Scanning 3D objects for reproduction
– Generating 3D models for analysis and production

ADVANCED MANUFACTURING PROCESS OPTIMIZATION
– Building custom digital fabrication equipment
– Improving productivity with new workflows and equipment configurations

Funding Available for a Limited Time

The SMARTS program runs until March 2019 and is supported by the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). As a result of this support, funding is available to cover the majority of the research costs associated with approved projects. The company also contributes a portion of project expenses.

Do you have a project idea that you want to explore with the SMARTS team? Want to discuss your expertise and funding needs? Find out more!

#madeatMIDAS: i4C Innovation & Blockchain

MadeatMIDAS i4C Innovation blockchain

Gustavo Nobrega and Alvaro Aragon of i4C Innovation.

Local innovation hub, i4C Innovation, looking to MIDAS for affordable and rapid prototyping to develop ideas and disruptive innovations.

Earlier this fall, the team of i4C, specifically Gustavo Nobrega and Alvaro Aragon, initiated a map to present the concept of the distributed network, or blockchain, amongst operations for regional resource industry giant Teck.

When considering ways to best illustrate simply the international network of Teck operations and the foundational concept of blockchain: no one point of failure; where even if one point of operations goes offline, the data is still being safely and securely collected by the remaining points of the network.

MadeatMIDAS i4C Innovation blockchainEmploying all the benefits of their Commercial Membership, i4C integrated a variety of MIDAS resources, including the expertise of the Fab Lab team and the equipment available to explore the options, creating several iterations to come up with their final product: an interactive, exploratory, map.

3D printing and laser cutting machines, as well as the corresponding design software, laid the foundation for completion of the project.

For those unaware, blockchain is the brainchild of Satoshi Nakamoto, whose true identity is still unknown. In 2008 he released the whitepaper Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System introducing us to a “purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash” known as Bitcoin, providing blockchain technology with its public debut.

Blockchain, the technology that runs Bitcoin, has developed over the last decade into one of today’s biggest ground-breaking technologies with the potential to impact every industry from financial to manufacturing to educational institutions.

Gustavo Nobrega of Levare Research and i4C are jumping into the blockchain game, embracing this still very new, emerging sector and positioning themselves as players in a field that is sure to provide increasing opportunities regionally and across sectors, particularly when it comes to data.

Nobrega began with a simple 3D Printing course to produce the first of what would be four versions of the presentation project. Enthusiastic about the experience at MIDAS, one that provided him with the utmost in knowledge and expertise, he is on track to use the membership for several more projects.

 

MIDAS – Leading the Regional Maker Community

MIDAS Fab Lab is an integral leader in the Maker culture and community in the region: industry, startups, creatives, students – everyone welcome!

#madeatMIDAS MIDAS Fab Lab

If you’re looking for inspiration with regards to your existing business, the innovative idea you’ve been nurturing, or simply about the future of technology and innovation in the region and beyond, spend a couple of hours here in the MIDAS Fab Lab.

Step inside the doors and you’ll be welcomed by our exceptional team, either exuberant Fab Lab Director – “Mr. Technology” – and innovative entrepreneur in his own right, Brad Pommen or the more reserved but no less enthusiastic or inspiring MIDAS Lab Assistant, Shawn Curran, or both.

State-of-the-art Inspiration, Learning, Fabrication

MIDAS Fab Lab

The MIDAS (Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration Studies) Fabrication Lab is a multimillion-dollar technology hub offering our members the education, training, and skills required to operate advanced fabrication and manufacturing equipment such as 3D scanners and printers, laser cutters and CNC milling equipment.

The resources at MIDAS – skilled and knowledgeable team, courses, half a million dollars in state-of-the-art equipment – are available to aspiring and advanced learners and makers of all levels of expertise.

Every day creative innovators throughout the region explore the range of rapid prototyping and fabrication possibilities at MIDAS to advance their own aspirations and goals to expand their business and develop new products and services. Without MIDAS Fab Lab the limitations of developing new innovations and products could be so labour, time, and costs prohibitive as to stop an idea in its tracks.

Turning Ideas into Gold! Take Advantage of our Range of Exceptional Courses & Training to help Bring your Idea to Life!

MIDAS equipment is most often used for rapid prototyping and training in additive manufacturing, building 3D objects by adding layer upon layer of material, such as plastic, metal, wood, and even concrete. 

Our users are able to quickly create a 3D model of an item (using a remarkable 3D scanning device) to create, in some cases, industrial grade prototypes – mechanical parts, for instance – using 3D computer-aided design and a 3D printer.

It doesn’t end with 3D printing, however. Electronics, circuit construction, CNC machines, moulding, casting, metalwork and woodwork are also available.

Since the inception of our MIT-certified Fabrication Lab in the fall of 2016, over 1,000 people from all walks of life, from laymen to startups to industry, have been introduced to not only the potential of MIDAS but their own as well.

Curious and want to learn more? We host weekly tours Thursdays from 6-7pm. Join us!

#LearnCreateLaunch #madeatMIDAS #makersgonnamake

Fun Friday! DIY Foam Paddle Board

We are near mid-summer and the weather has been nothing short of glorious! And, with all of this sublime weather, no doubt everyone has been enjoying their local waterhole, river, or lake with their favourite watercraft.

Fun Friday! DIY standup paddle board

Looking for a Standup Paddle Board Without the Steep Price Tag?

If you’ve been coveting the rash of standup paddle board (SUP) activity but purchasing one isn’t in your summer budget, the innovative folks over at instructables are offering the perfect DIY alternative.

While the cost of a SUP has certainly come down over the past few years, it’s still a rather grand sum to pay for some hollow plastic.  But, with a little initiative, a few tools, and some good ol’ fashioned elbow grease here’s a way for you to relax on the water with unique hand-crafted style and a totally do-able price tag – guaranteed to be one-of-a-kind!

Here’s What You Need (costs are approximate):

A sheet rigid foam insulation 2″ thick ($25).  This may even be something you or a DIY neighbour already has on hand, so the price may be even lower!

Insulation saw ($12).

Two large tubes of construction adhesive ($6).

A fine notch plastic trowel ($1.50).

A wood rasp ($6.50).

Orbital sander.

An optional 1/4″ sheet of plywood ($20).

Heavy items – sandbags, cinder blocks, bricks, etc. – to help set the glue.

The total cost (cash money, that is) is only about $50, possibly less if you’re able to source from your own garage, or those of your friends and family. The real cost for this project is your time and energy.

DIY Standup Paddle Board

Building Instructions:

1. Lay out the paddle board shape on heavy paper or stretches of cardboard. If you’ve got a model to use that’s ideal, but most online retailers’ product descriptions provide the dimensions you need. Prepare for this to take some time – it’s worth it!

There will be additional time tracing and retracing if you’re incorporating the plywood deck surface.  In this example, the SUP is kid-sized: 4″ thick and 24″ wide. If you want to make a 12 footer you’ll need more foam.  Note: the wood deck does make for a more slick surface, the bare foam actually provides some grip.

2. Glue the foam together.

3. The board ought not be left flat. There should be a rocker of a few degrees on both ends.
Trace out the curve of the nose rocker onto the profile and sculpt with a long razor.
Once the shape is roughed out use the wood rasp to remove the rest and to make the curves more hydrodynamic. FYI:  working with the foam is messy!  It’s recommended that you set up some means of dust collection (ie. ShopVac on hand!).

Finish the smoothing with an orbital sander, stepping down the grits.

4. To make the plywood impermeable to water, it needs to be prepared with polyurethane on both sides. After sanding the edges and top of the deck board, apply four coats of poly, sanding the top side between coats. Don’t worry about the underside as it will be glued to the foam. Once it’s dry, and before securing with glue to the SUP, test the placement of the deck. Lightly trace the outline of the deck so that you know where to spread the adhesive. Coat both the foam and the underside of the deck with your adhesive. Place the deck with care and press the two parts together and leave overnight under pressure.

There you have it! Don’t forget, you can apply laser cut vinyl, or paint designs, to customize your unique DIY board. If you’d like more photos and far more detail into the construction of the handmade SUP, check it out HERE!

BTW, if you’re new to DIY for projects like this, check out the MIDAS course calendar for all kinds of education and training into the kinds of equipment and design software that make creating these kinds of projects just that much easier.

#LearnCreateLaunch #madeatMIDAS #makersgonnamake

#madeatMIDAS: MIDAS Lab Director Brad Pommen & SMRT1 Technologies Featured

SMRT 1 Brain STEM toolbox

The MIDAS and KAST teams are so proud of the tremendous effort and innovation of our intrepid leader, MIDAS Fab Lab Director and founder of the Nelson Tech Club, Brad Pommen and SMRT1 Technologies.

He and his new company have definitely been making news, and this month, Brad, SMRT1 and their smart vending innovation are featured in Kootenay Business.

#madeatMIDAS, the Brain STEM Toolbox, evolved from Brad’s love of technology and innovation as well as the drive to bring technology education and resources more readily to the public that has inspired much of his professional and personal life.

The various iterations took place right here at MIDAS, beginning with the prototype based on the basic vending model we’re all so familiar with.

SMRT1 Technologies smart vending Brain STEM Toolbox

The plan was always to incorporate smart technology, and the iterations to follow operate with innovative touch-screen hardware and dynamic software.  What sets this vending application apart is that SMRT1 Technologies are able to retrofit the touch-screen hardware and software onto old vending machines enabling a truly 21st century experience and functionality.

Tracy Connery Photography - #BCTECHSummit - MIDAS - SMRT1

With approximately seven million aging vending machines in North America, not only are the opportunities for SMRT1 to transform the vending landscape endless, but Brad and SMRT1 can also address sustainability as well, aiming to keep these aging machines from cluttering landfills.

Read more about the SMRT1, Brain STEM Toolbox journey HERE!

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Fun Friday! The Ultimate in Maker Pizza!

pizza oven made from an old car

So, this project may not necessarily be accessible to most of us, but for those of us who love pizza, or those of us with a penchant for learning new cooking techniques, this project certainly looks like a whole lot of fun!

Love Pizza?  Here’s a Pizza Oven Unlike Any Other!

There are probably any number of things that can be done to recycle an old car that’s pretty much had the biscuit: donate to your nearest volunteer fire department (they can always use old cars for practicing rescues and extractions), a unique wildflower planter, a pretty cushy doghouse, or maybe even a funky chicken coop.

This idea… well, this one’s probably not the first many of us would think of!

Leave it to French artist Benedetto Bufalino to come up with one of the more unique and practical ways to repurpose an old car.

Bufalino has made a name for himself transforming and repurposing old cars and other otherwise useless items into cool and interesting objects.  Playable ping pong tables made from upside down cars, aquariums from telephone booths, fun and innovative designs from ordinary, discarded stuff.  In true maker spirit, the french artist hacked an old Ford Mondeo into a fully functioning, pizza lovers dream of a wood-burning pizza oven where the pies come out looking as delectable as any restaurant.

He cut out the windows of the old Ford and removed all the technical and internal components including the seats and wheels. A shelf within the car interior was constructed and covered in an all-brick surface to sustain the heat required to bake. Wood logs positioned, ignited, and voila! A singular and unique pizza oven that could easily be the envy of any traditional pizzeria.

Devised while Bufalino was a participant at cultural art association 2angles based in France, the car-turned-pizza-cooker attracted many visitors who wanted to check out the car that doesn’t burn gas — but wood.

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