#madeatMIDAS: Gordon Cleland

Tracy Connery Photography - #madeatMIDAS Gordon Cleland_01

The team at MIDAS is so proud of the variety of #madeatMIDAS ideas that are brought to reality everyday here at the Fab Lab!

In the past, the process of prototyping an invention or innovation could be cost and time prohibitive, not to mention the challenges of simply finding a manufacturer, often oversees, that might be capable of bringing your idea to life.  Today, a maker space like MIDAS cracks the entire prototyping model wide open allowing for fast and cost effective production onsite, with access to almost half a million dollars in state-of-the-art equipment, in days or weeks rather than the months, perhaps even years, that it used to take.

Several #madeatMIDAS projects have been created by engineers, with a very specific product and result they’re interested in achieving.  However, while we encourage and love our corporate members, we want everyone to know that the MIDAS Fab Lab is open to just about anyone who comes with an idea, the vision and the desire to learn in order to bring it to life.

#madeatMIDAS celebrates the range of creativity and innovation as well as the incredible projects that have been created through the Fab Lab and promotes the maker space as an accessible facility ready to take on just about any kind of project.

A great example is Gordon Cleland, a builder, inventor and artist at heart, who has brought two separate visions to life utilizing all that MIDAS has to offer.

A big do-it-yourselfer, wood, metal and clay were his go-to materials in developing his ideas.  Often, though, he found that the hand-tools he was used to working with were too limited to bring his ideas fully to fruition.  The 3D design and 3D printing training provided at MIDAS were game-changers! Access to this level of new manufacturing technology, and to have it conveniently located nearby in Trail was a huge plus.

When Gordon read one of the early articles about MIDAS, the opportunity to get education and access to new technologies was one he had to take advantage of.  In fact, he made a point of attending the grand opening to learn more!   A member since the opening of MIDAS, he’s taken courses on nearly every machine available at the Fab Lab.  He’s created vinyl signs and wood projects using the CNC router table;  3D scanned and 3D printed prototypes; and, most recently, CNC machined aluminum.

Gordon has enjoyed the accessible membership and training fees as well as the easy access to the amazing talent making up the core of the MIDAS shop. People like MIDAS Lab Director, Brad Pommen, Jason Taylor of Selkirk College, and Chris Kent of Left-of-Center Design provided the skills, knowledge and expertise instrumental to bring Gordon’s visions to reality.

“I also received acceptance for my design into the Venture Acceleration Program, a complimentary group that assisted with market research, legal and engineering.”

It wasn’t long after he began his journey with MIDAS that he made the investment in his own 3D printer, in which he produced a working prototype of his latest project. This allowed him to refine his design before taking the leap, investing in machining a full aluminum version.

Tracy Connery Photography - #madeatMIDAS-January18_91

He looked to the CNC Machining Center at MIDAS to produce the aluminum parts in the finished product.

“By utilizing the machining center at MIDAS I was able to work with designer and machinist Chris Kent as each part was made, helping to ensure our final product worked as intended. It also allowed for a quick turn-around from prototype to finished product at just under 2 weeks.”

His new design adds functionality to an existing piece of equipment used to cut steel pipe. It allows precise adjustment of cut angle, extremely useful when steel pipe is driven into the ground as support pilings. Pipe pilings are used in place of concrete pilings or footings and used extensively in the oil and gas and other industries around the world.

Tracy Connery Photography - #madeatMIDAS-January18_84

Using Gordon’s product reduces the time it takes to cut, level and weld pilings on a job site. As a welder for over 25 years, it’s a product he’d known was in need: a simple and accurate way to cut pilings accurately.

“Now I’ve built one and I’m eager to get it into the hands of tradespeople that can use it.”

Gordon is well aware what would have had to be invested to see this innovation brought to reality without a facility like MIDAS:

“Without the training from MIDAS my only local option to explore the design would have been hire a designer or mechanical engineer to do it for me, and those costs would have been beyond my means. MIDAS and VAP made it possible for me to pursue my idea to a market ready stage economically.”

Have an idea or innovation you’re looking to bring to reality? It can be #madeatMIDAS!

Looking to learn valuable skills?  MIDAS can help!  So many great courses and training to give you the preparation you need to take full advantage of all MIDAS has to offer!



Raspberry Pi: Super Power in a Tiny Package!

Credit card-sized, and low-cost, this powerful little device is a computer designed initially for education, to improve programming skills and hardware understanding for young people, pre-university.  Due to its size, affordability and versatility, the Raspberry Pi quickly inspired the interest of hobbyists, makers, inventors, and electronics geeks enthusiasts for projects requiring a little more oomph than the basic microcontroller like the Arduino.

While slower than a modern desktop or laptop, the Raspberry Pi is still a complete, yet mini, Linux computer providing physical computing capabilities beyond that of a regular PC allowing you to connect electronic components and program physical devices in the real world.

Here are just  a couple of examples of possible applications of the Raspberry Pi, from the fun to the practical, this tiny computer having the ability to help with environmental study in the field:

Using the Raspberry Pi and open source software, a team of National Geographic Explorers were able to more easily measure water quality, wildlife sightings, and more.  Using the tiny hardware, they created a portal to share data openly, helping to preserve a portion of African wilderness.

According to Shah Selbe, one of the Explorers, they implemented the Raspberry Pi in their conservation work as the brains of a data station custom-built into his mokoro (traditional canoe) as he travelled the entire expanse of the Delta.  You can read the full interview here.

raspberry pi applications

For a little fun, here’s an example of a project combining the fun of a skateboard and some Raspberry Pi ingenuity: an electric skateboard that can zip you around town at up to 30kmph!

The brains is a Raspberry Pi Zero, and the speed is controlled by a Nintendo Wii Remote over Bluetooth.  With a motor from Alien Power Systems attached to the rear axle, a speed controller from the same company, and a battery offering a range of 10km.
The project is the brainchild of the Raspberry Pi Guy, the man behind the popular series of YouTube tutorial videos, and features just 100 lines of code!
Meantime, check it out:






Follow the MIDAS Fab Lab on Instagram! #madeatMIDAS #makersgonnamake

Follow the MIDAS Fab Lab on Instagram

We are looking to get the word out further about all the possibilities available at the MIDAS Fab Lab.

With so much going on at MIDAS, great courses and programs, it was time to jump into the popular visual social sharing app to give followers another way to find us and keep up to date with everything that’s coming up and all that’s being achieved in this state-of-the-art fabrication lab and maker space.

Makers, innovators, inventors, small businesses… it doesn’t matter who you are, if you’ve got a great idea, the range of learning and making opportunities at MIDAS can help you bring it to reality!

Courses, workshops, news, innovation, inspiration – follow us on Instagram!

#madeatMIDAS #makersgonnamake


Tormach Metal CNC Mill Course: Hands-on Learning for Machinists, Inventors, Makers!

Not only did we have a makin’ good time at our last course offering, but a great turnout as well!

The Tormach Metal CNC Mill course held last week saw machinists and makers of all backgrounds and interests, as our courses always do.

Tormach products are designed to make machining easier, while still providing real manufacturing capabilities.  Ours, the ultimate in 3-axis metal CNC technology – designed for aluminum, light metals and composite plastics – provided not only valuable additional machining experience for our attendees, but also a good jolt of inspiration.   What can I make next??

Next up:  Trotec 120Watt Laser Cutter – February 23.  Etch and cut wood, plastic, acrylic, fabrics and more! Click HERE for more information OR go ahead and BOOK YOUR SEAT before it’s gone!

Meantime, here’s a little peek into how things went down:










Imagination Meets Technology: RoboGames Brought to You By GLOWS & Selkirk College!

RoboGames will take place Saturday, April 28th at the Castlegar Campus Gymnasium.

Get ready for a robot competition like no other hosted by GLOWS at Selkirk College. Through experimentation and mentoring, youth from throughout the region learn how to design, build and program robots that they will enter into RoboGames, a fun and free spirited event full of prizes.

Imagination meets technology

RoboGames is open to all youth ages 6 to 18 living in the West Kootenay/ Boundary region. No prior experience is necessary. Youth in teams of one to two people will be supported with six to eight weeks of robotics programming and circuit training culminating with a competition.

RoboGames will take place Saturday, April 28th at the Castlegar Campus Gymnasium.

Please click HERE to get started!

Make Your Next Event Memorable: The MIDAS Learning Centre!

If you think MIDAS is only for high tech and makers… think again!

While MIDAS is making a name for itself as THE makers space among makers spaces, you don’t necessarily have to be a maker to enjoy this unique facility and the incredible resources we’ve got to offer.  Consider the innovative facilities here at MIDAS to make your next event better than ever!

MIDAS Learning Centre

Workshops – Meetings – Training – Events. The MIDAS Learning Centre will WOW them!

If you’re looking for a unique and fully serviced space to help make your next event amazing you’ll find the MIDAS Lab can provide the perfect INNOVATIVE, TECH SAVVY & ADAPTABLE environment to fit your needs.

In addition to some serious inspiration, and space to accommodate up to 50 people, here’s what else you’ll find at the MIDAS Fab Lab to help take your events to the next level:

  • High speed fibre internet/Wifi
  • Video conferencing
  • Adaptive workspace layout
  • Private conference space
  • Admin and facilitation support
  • Prep kitchen to offer refreshments, snacks, or catering
  • Rent by the hour, the day or the week
  • Custom workplace training – ask us!

The MIDAS Lab Learning Centre offers unique expertise and versatile space to make your event a successful one.

Upcoming MIDAS Courses: February, 2018

If you’re looking to take your fabrication to the next level, want to learn something new or have a project in mind that requires the specialized equipment provided here at MIDAS, the rest of February has a ton in store!  Check out our upcoming workshops… we’re sure there’s a course to fit exactly what you’re looking for as you consider your next diy/maker project.

Tormach Metal CNC Mill courses

Tormach Metal CNC Mill

February 16th:  The ultimate in 3-axis metal CNC technology. Designed for aluminum, light metals and composite plastics – this machine packs horsepower. This machine is not for beginners – only experienced CNC operators can be certified, but anyone can take the course.

Register NOW!


Trotec 120Watt Laser Cutter courses at MIDASTrotec 120 Watt Laser Cutter

February 23rd:  The Speedy is the ideal laser engraving machine – no matter if you are starting your own business or want to speed up current production, laser engraving wood, plastic, acrylic, fabrics and many other materials has never been more efficient. This CO2 laser engraver has the highest quality components which ensures minimal maintenance requirements.

Register NOW!


Creaform 700 3D Handyscan Scanner courses at MIDASCreaform 700 3D Handyscan Scanner

February 26th:  The Handyscan is AMAZING but don’t take our work for it. Come out and see for yourself! This session will demonstrate the handy scan on a number of objects how to place tags, basic scanning, set up of a receiving software and review of captured online files. (CAD and others on demand). This course DOES NOT cover the manipulation of captured images or printing but is intended to allow members to scan and understand the potential of this device. Recommended for engineers, architects, manufacturers, machinists, makers ad hobbyists alike.

Register NOW!

Not what you’re looking for?  Take a look at our full calendar of upcoming workshops and courses.














3D Printed Handheld Raspberry Pi Zero Retro Game Console

Raspberry Pi Zero Handheld Retro Game

If you’re looking for a cool new project that combines the magic of your Raspberry Pi and a 3D digital printer – your own, or of course, ours here at MIDAS – check this out!

This Raspberry Pi Zero finds a new home encased in a 3D printed casing making for a retro gaming console designed specifically for smaller printers and only requiring an 80 x 104 mm print bed size.

The files are actually available to download via Thingyverse and follows the Adafruit PiGRRL Pocket One project with a few modifications, according to its creator.

Here’s ANOTHER handheld Raspberry Pi game console! It was designed to use the Pi Zero and fit smaller printers whilst still being simple to put together. The front and back are completely separate until you close the case, so you can work on one half at a time and keep everything neat.

This build pretty much follows the Adafruit PiGRRL Pocket one, but the image doesn’t work on the Pi Zero (for me anyway) so you’ll have to manually set up the screen and buttons after installing a Retropie image for the Pi Zero. This build does not have any audio.


Submit it to #DisruptMining for a chance to pitch it to industry leaders!

#DisruptMining. Pitch Your Idea! Deadline January 16/18

Do you have the imagination and the attitude to blast convention?

Any innovator interested in pitching their idea at the #DisruptMining Innovation Expo and “shark-tank” style live event should submit an application via the submission portal found at www.disruptmining.com.

#DisruptMining is a call to action for new technologies and new ways of thinking that will accelerate innovative solutions to some of mining’s biggest challenges and opportunities.

As members of the BC Innovation Council we see every day that the rapid advancement to the 21st century economy – Urban, High Tech and Green – is fueled by the raw materials produced by mining.  The industry needs to continue to be better, faster and more efficient at delivering materials to the market, with even less impact to the environment.

Winning disruptor(s) can earn an opportunity to negotiate up to C$1 million investment from Goldcorp, one of the world’s largest and most innovative gold producers.

Submit your ideas here: www.disruptmining.com

Submissions will be accepted via the online portal from January 2, 2018 12:01am PST / 3:01am EST until January 16, 2018 at 8:59pm PST / 11:59 pm EST.

High Speed Fibre Internet at MIDAS

Earlier this fall, the BC Government announced the recipients of the new BC Rural Dividend Funds, totalling over 8 million dollars.

73 local governments, First Nations and non profit organizations now have a chance to use the funding for current and planned projects.  The City of Trail will receive over 79-thousand dollars and Trail Mayor, Mike Martin, says the city will use the funding to advance their broadband capabilities to businesses in Glenmerry.

MIDAS is excited to be one of the beneficiaries of this funding and is excited to announce that high speed fibre internet is available to our clients.  Previously, the max speed supported for client connections at the Fabrication Lab was 1Gbps. The new connection to the CBBC Fibre network will now allow for capacity to run at a whopping 100Gbps.

We thank the City of Trail, Community Futures Greater Trail and the BC Rural Dividend fund for their support!