3D Printing: Parts and Products Made Faster, Better, More Cost-effective

3D Printing and manufacturing training at MIDAS

Parts and products created through 3D printing are easy to make, highly accurate, and extremely strong.

And, it’s ideal for product manufacturing, rapid prototyping, and mechanical testing. 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, has now become the go-to for those individuals and companies looking to accelerate their product development; creating prototypes quicker, easier, and more cost-effectively than ever before.

Put simply, 3D printing is the creation of a three dimensional solid object from a digital model.

With advances in materials and efficiency in additive manufacturing technologies, the opportunity to use 3D print processes for low-volume manufacturing is easily and inexpensively realized. A primary benefit is that parts can be developed as you need them (just-in-time production).

It may come as a surprise, but additive manufactured parts can be as strong as traditionally manufactured metal components. In fact, the porosity of an object made by a high-quality 3D printer can reach 99.5% density.

The digital printing of parts allows for changes to be made during production without seriously impacting costs, incurring delays, or tooling modifications.

Curious about how 3D printing can help propel your idea or product development? Register for a course at MIDAS or talk to us about membership!

How Does Additive Manufacturing Work?

The process begins with a 3D model. The model is scanned with a device such as the Creaform Handyscan 3D scanner and provides the foundation for the additive manufacturing processes.

In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the resulting item.

Additive manufacturing is the opposite of subtractive manufacturing which is the cutting or hollowing out of a piece of metal or plastic with, for instance, a milling machine.

3D printing enables you to produce complex shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods.

Applications of 3D Printing

Additive manufacturing technologies and materials are being used across sectors and in almost any industry you can think of.

A few examples:

  • clear aligners / braces in dentistry
  • eyewear
  • architectural scale models & maquettes
  • industrial research and development
  • prosthetics
  • movie props
  • design (lamps, furniture, toys, etc.)
  • reconstructing fossils in paleontology
  • replicating ancient artifacts in archaeology
  • reconstructing bones and body parts in forensic pathology
  • reconstructing damaged evidence retrieved from crime scenes

Rapid Prototyping & Rapid Manufacturing

Companies have used 3D printers in their design process to develop prototypes since the late seventies. Using 3D printers for these purposes is called rapid prototyping.

Why use 3D Printers for Rapid Prototyping?
In short: it’s fast and relatively cheap. From idea, to 3D model, to holding a prototype in your hands takes only a matter of days instead of weeks. Iterations are easier and cheaper to make and you no longer need expensive molds or tools.

Besides rapid prototyping, 3D printing is also used for rapid manufacturing. Rapid manufacturing is a new method of manufacturing where businesses use 3D printers for short run / small batch custom manufacturing.

Additive manufacturing provides competitive advantages, particularly when it comes to reducing vital time-to-market. The ability to quickly produce a working, or final, iteration cheaply and more efficiently provides a range of valuable savings as you advance your product commercialization.

Curious about how 3D printing can help propel your idea or product development? Register for a course at MIDAS or talk to us about membership!

Opportunity: MIDAS Lab Assistant

Help Wanted - MIDAS Instructors

The MIDAS Digital Fabrication Lab in Trail, BC is looking for a qualified, experienced, and creative MIDAS Lab Assistant.

MIDAS (Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration & Studies) is a project of the Kootenay Association for Science & Technology.

MIDAS offers the best FABrication 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 that includes: 3D Printers, 3D scanners, CNC milling equipment, metal shop, woodworking, an electronics lab, teaching, co-working space, and more.

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

Working as part of a progressive, motivated team, the main responsibilities of the MIDAS Lab Assistant will be to provide support to the Director, Lab Manager and Lab staff, and to provide exceptional support to the fabrication team.

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

That said, we’re a super fun team and MIDAS is a rewarding place to work.

Primary duties:

The MIDAS Lab fabrication team delivers projects from concept to creation, working with clients to bring their ideas to life.

·       2D & 3D design

·       Laser cutting & engraving

·       CNC machining

·       Woodworking

·       Metalworking

·       Painting & finishing

·       Electronics & microcontrollers

·       LEDs & lighting

·       Plastic fabrication

·       Education & outreach

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

As a fabricator you will be…

·       Supporting the team in determining project requirements and generating quotes

·       Creating and implementing fabrication strategies and processes

·       Designing 2D and 3D files for visualization and digital fabrication

·       Operating CNC tools as well as traditional tools

·       Managing project deliverables and client expectations

·       Supporting MIDAS Lab members with machine setups and designs for fabrication

·       Maintaining a safe and clean work environment

·       Spreading maker culture

Minimum Qualifications, hardware and software knowledge

·       Post-Secondary education in digital design and fabrication or equivalent relevant experience

·       Working knowledge of Autocad, Inventor, Fusion 360, Solidworks, Spaceclaim, Illustrator, Maya, Blender, Photoshop, Aspire, V-carve or equivalents

·       Operational experience with 3d printing, laser cutting, CNC routers.

·       Experience with CNC Milling machines is an asset

·       Experience with electronics and microcontrollers preferred by not essential

Hours of work:

The successful candidate will be willing to work flexible hours from Monday-Friday, 20 hours per week.

Hourly rate: $18-$21 depending upon experience

To apply:

Closing date: July 23, 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.

While we appreciate all interest, only those shortlisted will be contacted.  Thank you!

FREE Webinars: Legal Insights for Business Owners

Get your legalities right, the first time

The Women’s Enterprise Centre is a non-profit organization devoted to helping BC women launch, lead and scale their own businesses. The organization’s full range of services includes business loans, skills training, advisory services, mentors, resources and a supportive community to help women business owners gain the skills, mindset, financing, and networks they need to realize their business potential.

Their training participants, over 35,000 to date, attribute half of their increased revenues directly to their training, and their business loans have helped generate over $1.95 billion in economic activity and have created or maintained over 3,100 jobs in BC.

This summer, take advantage of this series of valuable and FREE legal webinars!

Women’s Enterprise Centre is excited to partner with Driven by Women™, an initiative of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), to offer a series of free legal webinars this summer! 

Open to women and men, these interactive webinars are facilitated by associates of BLG and will give you a better understanding of key legal considerations for your business.

July 17, 10am to 11am
Raising Capital 101

Learn about the different types of financing, their risks and benefits.

We’ll discuss the type of legal documents you’ll need, how you can structure your business to increase your chances of raising capital and programs and tax credits available to businesses.

Panelists:

REGISTER NOW!

August 14, 10am to 11am
Commercial Leasing Basics

All leases are not created equal!

Get an overview of leasing and the pitfalls to watch our for as a tenant. We’ll discuss leasing structures, key provisions and a few tools to negotiate the best lease for your business.

Panelist:

REGISTER NOW!

September 18, 10am to 11am
Letters of Intent and Confidentiality Agreements

Understand the context, timing and scope of these two tools to ensure the best outcome for your business as you conduct key commercial transactions like licensing and distribution.

Panelists:

REGISTER NOW!

You may also be interested in…
June 20, 10am to 11am
Mentor Advisory Forum: Using Mediation to Solve Business Challenges

There are times when you should hire a lawyer, but other times solving the problem with mediation can be equally as effective, less expensive and quicker. Join us to discuss mediation can be used to resolve some business conflicts.

Panelist: Ashley Syer, Lawyer and Mediator, Syer Law

REGISTER NOW!

See how you can get personalized support at womensenterprise.ca.




Members Luncheon with Innovate BC and BC Innovation Commissioner

KAST and MIDAS luncheon

On June 20th MIDAS hosted member luncheon and discovery with Innovation BC and Innovation Commissioner, Alan Winter

For several hours yesterday, MIDAS had the honour of hosting B.C.’s first Innovation Commissioner, Alan Winter, Raghwa Gopal, president and CEO of Innovate BC, and several MIDAS commercial members for a luncheon promoting science, technology, and the range of exciting innovations born here in the Kootenays.

After a rousing welcome introducing the Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST) and the organization’s, along with that of MIDAS, leadership in supporting technology and innovation throughout the region, MIDAS members shared their positive experiences in the Fab Lab.

Success stories abound out of the MIDAS Fab Lab!

A catalyst for the region’s tech sector, KAST and MIDAS help entrepreneurs start companies, find customers, and attract investment. Some of the extraordinary regional businesses in attendance shared the ways they’ve leveraged new technologies, taking advantage of the Lab’s rapid prototyping and fast-iteration capabilities.

MIDAS Fab Lab Innovate BC

In attendance to share their MIDAS success stories:

Interested in learning what a MIDAS Commercial Membership can do for your business? Contact us and set up a consultaiton.

Commercial Memberships at MIDAS

Leverage new technologies – get ahead of your competition! Commercial memberships at MIDAS are designed to support prototype and product commercialization for your business. 

MIDAS offers state-of-the-art technology tools and equipment you cannot access anywhere else in the region – we’re here to help your business grow and innovate!

With over $430,000 of the best digital fabrication equipment and access to industry-leading expertise developing new ideas and products has never been easier… or more cost-effective.

Our membership services are open to regional companies, including start-ups, with a focus on supporting prototype and product commercialization. A variety of businesses in the Kootenays have taken advantage of MIDAS commercial memberships to explore new innovations, conduct vital research and development to advance their own technologies, and to launch new ideas and products through our rapid prototyping and fast-iteration capabilities.

Innovative regional upstarts Austin Engineering, Environmental Engineers specializing in Hydro Electricity look to digital fabrication and CNC milling to provide for their in-house testing and research and development.

Advanced Biocarbon – ABC3D leveraged their membership at MIDAS to marry environmental sustainability and innovation with their carbon negative bioplastics. They’re creating 100% biodegradable, engineering grade plastics and carbon fibre – 3D printing filament derived from lignin, the natural glue-like fibres found inside of wood. 

#madeatMIDAS and I/O Design

I/O Design & Engineering look to cutting edge technology – Virtual and Augmented Reality – to provide their clients with reliable, accurate, and realistic modeling for a variety of applications. With the help of their MIDAS commercial membership and the expertise of MIDAS instructor, Jason Taylor, who spent almost 20 hours converting 3D designs to VR/AR to see if what the company had in mind was even possible, drew on various resources and did all the vital legwork to hand the team at I/O the ball so they could run with it!

Significant benefits to Commercial membership at MIDAS

MIDAS makes a commercial membership a win-win for everyone! Members explore and learn new technologies in order to help them get ahead of their competition; they enjoy customized and specific training alongside our expert staff based on their needs and desired outcomes; prototype development at any stage; bring product(s) to market faster and more cost-effectively than ever before.

  • Time to Prototype – coordinate your schedule with MIDAS and utilize the space on the days and times suited to your needs – at every stage of your business growth.
  • Prototype consulting – from customized training to side-by-side prototype development to contracted fabrication services.
  • Space to Expand – starting or expanding your business is expensive. Scale without scaling by using our 6500 sqft facility to expand without increasing your footprint.
  • Learning Centre – Need a space for design work, team meetings or events? Utilize our 1000 sqft Learning Centre setup with fibre broadband internet and Windows 10 workstations. Our computers are fully loaded with modern 2d and 3d design, engineering and CNC software packages for use by your company.
  • High speed “Fibre Broadband” – wireless internet access throughout our facility ensures you are connected globally to your clients and audience.

Interested in learning what a MIDAS Commercial Membership can do for your business? Contact us and set up a consultaiton.


MIDAS Lab clean tech projects highlighted by CEBC conference

At Clean Energy BC June 4 – 5, MIDAS Lab promoted the potential of Clean Tech through the various projects, innovations, and businesses that come through our doors.

This past week saw our enthusiastic MIDAS Lab team participate in the Clean Energy BC (CEBC) Conference in Trail, BC.

For a first conference outside of the lower mainland, the event provided an exceptional opportunity to highlight Trail and the Kootenays’ unique legacy of engineering excellence and how it impacts innovation in the region’s tech and innovation sectors.

The voice of BC’s clean energy industry for over 25 years, the CEBC supports BC’s transition to low-carbon energy through the development of effective climate policy and clean energy electrification. 

The purpose of CEBC is to promote and support the growth and advancement of British Columbia’s clean energy industry and assist in the growth of manufacturing, supply, and service industries in BC, serving clean energy production in the province and around the world.

MIDAS Fab Lab: Leading Edge of Local Innovation

Our participation at the BC Clean Energy Conference offered MIDAS Lab the chance to showcase technologies with enormous Clean Tech potential – 3D scanning 3D printing with carbon fibre. It was also a great way to highlight the possibilities available here at MIDAS Lab as we connected and networked with local organizations and individuals from around the province.

A particular highlight at the event was listening to MIDAS instructor Jason Taylor speak about “Building the Clean Economy: Job opportunities with CleanBC”.

A specialist in digital fabrication, rapid prototyping, and advanced manufacturing, as well as an Instructor and Researcher at Selkirk College, Jason encouraged attendees to consider education and training and how we think about fulfilling the ever-changing demands of the modern economy.

He stressed the need for “new educators” – the way we learn continues to change with the advancement of new technologies such as AI and VR and increasing automation.

To address the influence of expanding technology across sectors, Jason advocates guiding students through the various options and ways of learning, including co-op programs where students work in their chosen industry in order to not only enhance their learning but to provide valuable work experience as well.

Jason advocates strongly for providing Makerspaces – collaborative and hands-on workplaces – in schools. He is a big believer in embracing failure and “breaking things” to encourage in order to understand how things work and move forward.

To bring this point home for attendees and help promote the value and potential that a Makerspace offers, over the course of the event, we provided in-depth tours of the entire MIDAS Lab to nearly 60 curious individuals.

BC Clean Energy Event MIDAS

Building strong relationships with all levels of government, BC Hydro, First Nations, environmental organizations, and the public to improve the sector’s social license is fundamental to the mission of the CEBC. 

Clean Tech at the MIDAS Lab

The MIDAS Lab (and more generally KAST – Kootenay Association for Science and Technology) has been promoting Clean Tech through our support of innovative local companies. Fostering relationships and partnerships allow this Fabrication Lab to provide state-of-the-art equipment, resources, programs, and expertise to businesses big and small to help advance their Clean Energy and Technology objectives.

MIDAS Lab welcomes companies developing ideas and innovations that include Clean Energy and Clean Tech. It’s not unusual for businesses to leverage MIDAS Lab commercial memberships to engage in vital research and development, rapid prototyping, and advanced manufacturing.

Austin Engineering (Environmental Engineers with focus on Hydro Electricity) and Advanced Biocarbon – ABC3D (Bioplastics from wood) are two such companies.

We are looking to expand our partnerships with Eco Societies and businesses innovating projects to grow and enhance Clean Energy and Technology in this region!

At the MIDAS Lab, you can take action to address big problems like climate change. Take a course to learn how to use the most advanced tools to make your idea into a reality today. Work in the clean energy sector. Start your own business like ABC3D. Don’t just sit on the sidelines as the world falls apart Contact us!


Wanted: MIDAS Fab Lab Instructors

Help Wanted - MIDAS Instructors

Share your love of innovation, digital art, and manufacturing – Instruct in the MIDAS Fab Lab!

MIDAS is an applied research, commercialization and digital fabrication training facility in Trail, B.C. We promote skills training opportunities in digital fabrication and metallurgical technology for entrepreneurs, employees, and students. 

With over $430,000 of state-of-the-art “FAB”rication equipment for public, academic & commercial use, we provide the training and experience to enhance the talents and assets of small and medium-sized companies’ throughout the Kootenays. 

Join the MIDAS Team!

MIDAS provides the support, resources, and environment in which to not only effectively collaborate and adopt new technologies, but rapid-prototype products in preparation to go to market.

To continue to provide exceptional training and service, the MIDAS Fab Lab is in need of qualified, experienced, and enthusiastic instructors to teach a variety of disciplines:

Standard MIDAS Fab Lab Courses

MIDAS is looking for professional instructors with experience and expertise to teach standard Intro to Machinery courses in the Electronics, Metal, and Wood Labs: Laser Printing, 3D Scan and Printing, ShopBot CNC Router, and CNC Milling. 

In need of instructors to teach higher level Lab courses as well.  

Project Based Courses

MIDAS is also looking for instructors to teach Project Based Courses on our machines: electronics, programming, robotics, digital art, etc. A terrific opportunity to leverage the incredible resources of the MIDAS Fab Lab to share your passion for making with other aspiring makers!

Selkirk College Instructional Skills Workshop preferred.

For more information or to apply, please contact MIDAS at info@midaslab.ca.

School Works Program

The School Works Program provides a wage subsidy to businesses, non-profit or First Nations organizations, or public bodies in the Columbia Basin to meet their employment needs.

Are you looking to hire:

  • a full-time student on a part-time basis during the school year (September to May) to do career-related work,
  • a first or second level apprentice for full-time employment to complete their first or second level work-based training requirements, or
  • a student for a Co-op work term through an accredited Co-op program?

The School Works Program, delivered by College of the Rockies, could give you an $8/hour wage subsidy!

Who Can Apply

Businesses, non-profit and First Nations organizations, and public bodies located within Columbia Basin Trust’s region.

Program supports hiring first level apprentices for full-time employment to complete their first level work-based training requirements for the following trades:

  • Automotive Service Technician
  • Carpenter
  • Construction Electrician
  • Heavy Duty Equipment Technician
  • Industrial Electrician
  • Industrial Mechanic (Millwright)
  • Machinist
  • Motor Vehicle Body Repairer
  • Plumber
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic
  • Sprinklerfitter
  • Steamfitter/Pipefitter
  • Truck & Transport Mechanic
  • Gasfitter
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Metal Fabricator (Fitter)
  • Welder

The Program also supports the retention of participating apprentices if the employer chooses to retain them to complete their second-level work-based training requirements in the same trade.

How to Apply

  1. Read the School Works: Apprentice Wage Subsidy Application Guide
  2. Complete the School Works: Apprentice Wage Subsidy Application Form

#madeatMIDAS: Public Annual Member, Marc Desrosiers

Tracy Connery Photography - MadeatMIDAS public membership

A Public Annual Membership offers you all the benefits that MIDAS has to offer – access to the MIT-certified Fab Lab, over $430,000 of the best fabrication equipment and industry-leading expertise that opens emerging technology training to anyone.

It’s important, when you think of the MIDAS Fabrication Lab, that you remember that it’s not just all about engineers, advanced fabrication, and tech startups. While all are more than welcome, of course, MIDAS is also about our valued public members, like Marc Desrosiers, above.

Marc became aware of the MIDAS Fab Lab through a local advertisement. As he was in the middle of problem-solving how he might fix a significantly cracked live edge slab table, his curiosity was piqued that MIDAS might hold the answer.

Tracy Connery Photography - MadeatMIDAS

His first course, the Speedy 400-120 Watt Laser Cutter opened the doors to an abundance of learning and project opportunities, Marc didn’t have easily available before. Knowledge and experience on the laser cutter allowed the aspiring carpenter to cut a variety of joints and inlays, such as bow ties, dog bones, half-moons, and donuts.

The laser cutter simplified Marc’s finishing work significantly. He was able to experiment with different shapes and avoid the onerous task of chiseling as well as making a multitude of mistakes regarding the proper shape and fit.

Tracy Connery Photography - MadeatMIDAS Public Memberships

The process was, not surprisingly, remarkably efficient. It was faster, exact, cost-effective and zero-waste as Marc was able to cut multiple shapes from one piece of material.

 

MadeatMIDAS Public Annual MembershipExcited about his progress and ready to learn more, he signed up for the Shopbot CNC course. In his words, his experience in the training was, “Fantastic! Stellar!”

Marc was impressed with the support, knowledge, and expertise of the MIDAS team. In fact, as he says, with the help of the talented staff, he “hasn’t come across a problem that couldn’t be solved”.

Marc recommends MIDAS for anyone with an idea or project. “For anyone who doesn’t have the tools or space, come in and make use of all the great equipment, tools, space, and support.”

Just a few of the projects Marc has on the go with the help of the MIDAS Fab Lab are: a guitar-shaped table, a variety of cutting boards, a resin-filled end table, and an ambitious farmhouse dining table.

If you’re interested in learning more about the MIDAS Public Annual Membership, you can take advantage of our weekly tours every Thursday from 6:00 – 7:00 PM. Or feel free to Contact Us to find out more information about how MIDAS can help you realize your great idea or innovation.

Read more about the MIDAS Public Annual Membership.

Public Annual Membership Includes:

  • Fab Lab Access – We offer 18 hours per week for public members to utilize the space. Need more hours? MIDAS Commercial Membership might be right for you.
  • Space to Prototype – our facility is flexible to accommodate small and growing ideas. Access tools and space in our 6500 sqft facility.
  • Learning Centre – Learn 2d and 3d design software on our Windows 10 workstations. Our computers are fully loaded with modern design, engineering and CNC software packages.
  • High speed “Fibre Broadband” – wireless internet access throughout our facility ensures you are connected globally to your clients and audience.
  • Advice to grow – have a business idea? Tap into the Kootenay Association for Science and Technology’s business services and find complementing programs for your business. Get business guidance from professionals, including: business coaching/consulting, and assistance in obtaining funding to take your product to market.
  • Prototype Materials – get your project started and keep material costs under control. Buy what you need, when you need it, in the quantity that fits your budget with basic materials on site.
  • Cutting Edge Equipment – MIDAS has invested over $400,000 into the most critical rapid prototyping and digital manufacturing equipment.

MIDAS Fab Lab CLOSED March 11-15: Off to #BCTECH Summit!

MIDAS closed for #BCTECHSummit 2019

The MIDAS team is off to #BCTECH Summit 2019!

While we head off to network, share, connect and see what other incredible things are happening in STEM/STEAM throughout the province and beyond, the MIDAS Fab Lab will be closed all next week, Monday, March 11th through Friday, March 15th. Offices will be open again and business, as usual, Monday, March 18th.

Attention Koots attendees:  be sure to stop in at the MIDAS booth to check in and register for the KAST annual networking meetup at #BCTECH Summit!  The event begins at 5 pm on Tuesday, March 12th, the location to be divulged upon checking in at the MIDAS booth.

We look forward to seeing you there!

We’re looking forward to a terrific week of exploration, discovery, and inspiration and bringing it back to the Fab Lab!