Wanted: Administrative Coordinator MIDAS Fab Lab

Wanted: Administrative Coordinator MIDAS Fab Lab

Wanted: Administrative Coordinator MIDAS Fab Lab 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 & commercial use. The building is a newly renovated accessible space with state of the art, enterprise-level equipment and training on that equipment including: 3D Printers, 3D scanners, CNC milling equipment, woodworking, an electronics lab, teaching and co-working space and more.

Main responsibilities of the MIDAS Administrative Coordinator will be to provide support to the Lab Director, and to provide exceptional customer service to MIDAS members, potential members, the general public and our commercial clientele.  On a day-to-day basis, you will be expected to ensure the website, social media, training and operations calendars are updated, member information is accurate and current, assist with FabLab inquiries as needed, monitor lab usage, update and maintain all documents and manuals, ensure safety procedures are followed immaculately, and other operational duties as required. To achieve this, you will be working as part of a progressive team. You will be working at the FabLab reception desk.

Requirements and Qualifications: KAST is looking for a creative and motivated individual with confidence, judgement, flexibility, a desire to learn, a love of detail and a sense of humour. You will need to be outgoing and provide a high level of service while remaining professional and discreet.  You will have preferably completed post-secondary education and will have a minimum of 5 years of customer service/office management experience.  You will have demonstrated time management and organization skills, and adore detail and other forms of geekery. You will be willing to work flexible hours from Monday-Friday.  You will be at the front line at MIDAS, and you will be ready at any given moment to switch tasks multiple times throughout the day to accommodate the needs of members, the Lab Director, and other operational staff at the facility. That said, we’re super fun. Promise!

Hours per week: 40
Hourly rate ($): $19
Salary ($): $39,520
Closing date: May 24, 2017
To Apply: Email info@kast.com with resume and cover letter. No calls please.


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!


CBT Puts New Economic Development Plan Into Action

Trust Puts Economic Development Plan into Action

Working with entrepreneurs to bring ideas to life

CBT Puts New Economic Development Plan Into ActionColumbia Basin Trust has a vision for economic growth and is putting a new plan into action. The Trust is purchasing a commercial building in the Waneta Industrial Park near Trail and working with a local tech industry entrepreneur to fill the facility with new jobs and new opportunities in what it sees as a model for future projects.

“The Trust’s vision for economic development is to be a leader, a catalyst and an investor. We want to support economic growth, job creation and entrepreneurial opportunities in the Basin,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Trust President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Our intention with this project is to take a dormant facility and work with a company or companies that will fully utilize the building and the area’s workforce. This is much more than a building. The Trust is the catalyst for this entrepreneurial opportunity to bring ideas to life,” Strilaeff said.

Local technology entrepreneur Brian Fry of Rossland and his business partners, Pilar Portela and Tim Dufour, plan to create an innovation centre for their data technology company and establish a venture capital corporation to help emerging companies expand.

“The structure was originally built to leverage the world-leading metallurgical capabilities of the region. Now, with the Trust’s economic development focus and patient capital, we can once again leverage these capabilities and complementary tech industry opportunities,” Fry said.

“The Trust’s strategy is to maximize economic opportunities in all regions of the Basin, be that through increased employment, local investment or business development. This building is an example of an asset that can help achieve that vision,” Strilaeff said.

Economic development is a high priority with residents, businesses and local governments throughout the Basin. The Trust developed a new economic development strategic framework in 2016 to take a more proactive role in growing the Basin’s economy and allocated $20 million over three years to put the strategy into action.

Learn more about the Trust’s economic initiatives here.


MIDAS Fab Lab, A Golden Opportunity

Originally published at Trail Times.

As the Fab Lab says, “incubators aren’t just for chicks anymore.”

That said, there has been a flock of newbie techies walking through the front doors of MIDAS every week since the state-of-the-art facility opened in Trail last fall.

Known as “Mr. Technology,” Lab Director Brad Pommen has introduced almost 1,000 people from all walks of life to the Glenmerry space – even on a snowy Friday evening (Feb. 3) nine people were signed up for a laser cutting and 3D printing tutorial.

“Since opening, we’ve run 218 people through courses and just over 600 in tours,” Pommen began. “And I just ran 150 high school students, from J.L. Crowe and Stanley Humphries, through here over two days.”

MIDAS (Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration Studies) is a multimillion-dollar technology base that offers its membership the skills and courses required to operate advanced machines such as 3D printers, 3D scanners, laser cutters and CNC milling equipment.

The lab is available to beginner and advanced learners over the age of 16. No matter the level of expertise, however, all users must complete a competency course designed to get them using one or more pieces of the costly equipment. Safety precautions are posted and respective manuals are on hand, however, Pommen and the MIDAS floor staff are always nearby to ensure each machine is used safely – after all, the equipment is top notch and worth at least a half million dollars.

So it’s not a stretch to say that creative minds and innovators in the region, like Nicolene McKenzie, Mich Duvernet and Eric Holloway, would be limited in terms of technological opportunity without the regional MIDAS ‘fab’rication space.

The Trail Times dropped by the facility during a blustery Friday afternoon (Feb. 3), curious about who actually uses the lab on a typical day as well as the “why” such sophisticated equipment is needed. All three people in the digital laboratory drove over an hour on slushy roads to get to the Trail site, and all three were intensely focused on their prototype design.

Nicolene McKenzie is a recent graduate from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. After completing the Industrial Design Program, she moved back to her hometown of Nelson for a bit of a breather while exploring her next career move.
MIDAS fits into the picture as a vital resource the young designer needs to up her game with hands-on experience.

“I was very familiar with 3D printing, laser cutting and the CNC machine,” McKenzie explained. “But the program (Emily Carr) was very busy, and I didn’t get a lot of chance (to use the equipment). So I am looking to explore this area more, and how I can bring that to my practice which is designing products, as well as my artistic practice.”

She found out about the Trail facility through word of mouth, recently completed the “Shopbot CNC” course, and was walking through the program that afternoon.
“For me this will be more hands on, because at school we sent our (design) files to the technician and they did the work,” she said. “Today I am going to try cutting out some basic shapes to use for jewelry or tile designs -this is my first time so it is exciting for me.”

Seated at another table that afternoon were two friends from Winlaw.

Originally from Ottawa, Mich Duvernet, a former ski guide, brought along computer savvy Eric Holloway. They also recently completed the Shopbot CNC course and were gearing up to begin prototyping a lighting fixture.
The digital fabrication laboratory or “Fab Lab” is intended for rapid prototyping and training in additive manufacturing, which is a method of building 3D objects by adding layer upon layer of material, such as plastic, metal, wood or concrete.
Users are able to quickly create a model of an item like a mechanical part, for example, using 3D computer-aided design and 3D printer. Electronics, circuit construction, CNC machines, molding, casting, metalwork and woodwork are other areas of focus.

“We are working on a lighting design that I am bringing to market,” said Duvernet. “I’ve been doing a lot of this kind of stuff, like the finicky bits and pieces by hand. Since I know what I am going to make, now I am able to make those parts in such a way that they are just perfect,” he added. “So when when it gets presented, it’s more on the professional level and the transition to manufacturing is really easy.”

Following MIDAS’ orientation, Duvernet says he was ready to tap into his creative potential.
“You start with simple shapes and then the more you do, the more it opens up new possibilities. And the imagination starts working in a different way … rather than being limited, maybe down the road I can take this know-how and use it somewhere else.”

With a computer background, Holloway was on hand to help out with the software program. However, the MIDAS lab was proving to be a valuable learning tool for him as well.
“I want to be able to output (send design file) to these kind of machines, more than I have been doing,” Holloway said. “I’ve been doing that part of it for awhile, but haven’t actually run the machines. It’s kind of like I don’t really know what is happening on that end, so I want to be able to do that – and I am getting more hands on with some very expensive pieces of equipment.”

And at the end of the day, that is the MIDAS goal – to familiarize users with advanced equipment and provide the appropriate training to get the most out of the facility and its equipment based on those specific needs.

For Pommen, it’s all in a days work.
He’s always on hand to help, but he’s not there to do the actual project.
“They might say, ‘I have it loaded, now what?” he chuckled. “And I’ll say, ‘Let’s push the button together.’”

Incubators Aren’t Just for Chicks Anymore

Incubator spaces are becoming instrumental for small business growth. How can someone wanting to create a drone possibly afford the necessary equipment, which ranges in the tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars? By sharing it with other entrepreneurs who have similar aspirations. Enter the MIDAS lab.

MIDAS is a handy acronym that flows off the tongue a little easier than Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration & Studies. Another simplified title of the new MIDAS lab in Trail, B.C., would be metallurgical innovation centre. That’s how co-creator Don Freschi describes this new enterprise.

“We want to work around metals and focus on metallurgical products within a fab-lab setting,” he said. “We got the 3-D printers, metal working station, woodworking stations, everything focused around the metallurgical sector.”

A place with plenty of space

The MIDAS lab is a building that houses a variety of equipment used to manipulate metals and plastics for projects that small business owners can utilize. Space is available in the MIDAS building to set up shop and collaborate with other visionaries and businesses in need of high-tech equipment.

“You can come in, drop by and join up—MIDAS is offering memberships,” he said. “We’ve kept about 3,000 square feet in the back for incubating new companies. Right now there’s Fenix, KAST Materials  and Austin Engineering.”

Diverse gadgetry

The technology within the MIDAS lab is nothing to snuff at either. There’s a $100,000 laser scanner in which you scan something, bring it into a computer, manipulate it, make your own design, then print it in 3-D to create a prototype. The lab is stocked with tons of woodworking equipment capable of cutting fibreglass, wood and metals as well as laser cutters that can slice through an inch of steel.

“You can prototype anything you want,” said Freschi. “If you have an idea, you can make it in there.”

Turning vision into reality

Undertaking a project of this magnitude wasn’t simple but somehow Freschi and his collaborators managed to achieve their goal. “With MIDAS, all the stars aligned,” he said. “What we’ve pulled off is incredible.”

Freschi said the first step to get an innovation centre going is to start with a co-working space—a get-together area where people can discuss and share the same interests. From there it can become a formal technology group and evolves thereafter. Next comes funding, industry buy-in, academia buy-in and local buy-in.

“It’s a long process,” he said, “but MIDAS is a good example. We have the model. We did it. It’s just a matter of working through the steps to make it happen.”

Originally posted at Kootenay Business.

GE Additive and GE Capital Collaborate to Sell Metal Additive Manufacturing Machines

GE Capital will develop a range of customised financial solutions for its customers.

GE Additive is to collaborate with GE Capital to sell and finance metal additive manufacturing machines.
Manufacturing companies will now have more ways to access transformative 3D printing technology, spurring growth in several critical markets including medical, aerospace, automotive and machining.

GE Capital will develop a range of customised financial solutions for its customers. These solutions will allow GE Additive customers the ability to access strategic and flexible financing solutions to acquire this transformative manufacturing technology in countries around the globe.

“Our dual expertise both in manufacturing and in equipment finance, allows us to create competitive financial solutions that support our customers’ strategic business goals,” said Trevor Schauenberg, President and CEO of GE Capital Industrial Finance. “Additive manufacturing is a key contributor to the manufacturing evolution, we’re excited to enable its growth.”

Read more HERE.

Science Exposed

Say cheese! Science Exposed is back!

Science Exposed

NSERC has recently launched its Science Exposed contest, in collaboration with l’Acfas. The image contest challenges Canadians to combine creativity and science for a chance to win one of four cash prizes of up to $2,000.

The Science Exposed contest is devoted exclusively to images of scientific research, in all fields of study. We invite all to review the contest rules before capturing your image.

Contest closes on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. (ET).

A French version of this competition, called La preuve par l’image is also organized by l’Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas) in collaboration with NSERC.

Submit Your Research Image Today! @NSERC_CRSNG @_Acfas http://ow.ly/VG4sI

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!


Graduate Student – Research Assistant, Mining & Metallurgical

Grad Student Research Opportunity: Research Assistant, Mining and Metallurgical

Graduate Student – Research Assistant, Mining & MetallurgicalAs part of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) funded project entitled Regional Workforce Development in Rural BC, the Regional Innovation Chair is seeking a graduate student to produce a labour market profile for the mining and metallurgical sector in the Columbia Basin-Boundary region of southeast BC.

The labour market profile will include current and projected labour market needs for the Columbia Basin-Boundary region, identification of opportunities for longer term employment in related emerging industries/sectors, and identification of strategic connections to relevant provincial and national level labour market strategies. Research must adhere to Province of BC Labour Market Information Research Guidelines.

Closing Date: November 24, 2016.


  •   Current graduate student in a relevant discipline
  •   Research and/or professional experience in one or more of the following:
    • Workforce development
    • Rural communities and regional development
    • Knowledge of the sector
  •   Experience gathering, synthesizing, and summarizing information for decision makers and the public
  •   Experience with labour market research
  •   Ability to work independently a must

This is a short term contract appointment up to 120 hours. The rate of pay is $21.59/hr plus 6% vacation pay.

The position will commence December 1, 2016 and end February 28, 2017.

Interested and qualified applicants are invited to email: a detailed resume, cover letter, and three work references no later than 4:00 pm (PST) on the closing date to postings@selkirk.ca with reference to the position title in the email subject line.

Please send separate applications for each position you apply for indicating the position and competition number in the subject line.

In compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, submission of your resume, cover letter and references for the interested position constitutes authorization for the College to check the applicant’s references.

Selkirk College is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that empowers all employees to reach their full potential and where each member of the college community shares a responsibility for developing and maintaining a healthy work environment in which differences are valued. The college welcomes applications from persons with disabilities, visible minorities, and Aboriginal people. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

Selkirk College appreciates the interest of all applicants, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.


New Ways To Benefit From New Technologies

New Ways To Benefit From New Technologies

Media Release~

With new technologies such as 3D printers, 3D scanners and computer numeric control (CNC) machines beginning to hit the mainstream, it is easier than ever for businesses to benefit from their use.

Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, “New technologies are giving businesses more and more opportunities to grow, and it is important that there are people ready to step into jobs to do just that. I’m excited for the findings of this study, which will give us more information on what we can do to better prepare the workforce to meet the coming demand.”

Finding employees who are trained to use that technology is the difficult part, as is figuring out how new technology can fit into business plans. But the Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST) is set to learn more about what can be done to fill that gap. Through a new study, KAST plans to identify skills gaps and training opportunities in the Kootenay metallurgical and manufacturing industries thanks to more than $26,000 in government funding.

KAST is a non-profit organization that offers business-development services such as coaching, expertise, training, and development projects to stimulate the growth of applied science and technology entrepreneurship.

Through their Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration and Studies (MIDAS) centre and interviews of at least 40 local businesses, KAST plans to find new ways to train job seekers on these new technologies, while giving businesses a better idea of how new technologies can help grow their operations.

Amber Hayes, MIDAS project director, Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration and Studies, “We will be determining the technical skills and knowledge level our local industry requires. Research and future programing analysis will be completed via the new MIDAS Fab Lab team and regional partners Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation, Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute and Selkirk College. This initiative will support local business and employment, and elevates our community in its understanding and leveraging of technology to its benefit. We are excited to receive the Labour Market Partnership funding to survey our local industry and begin this valuable process.”

Government funding will help KAST report on specific training needs from local employers in the advanced manufacturing and metallurgical sectors and create a strategy for delivering those needs.

It is a study aimed at creating better opportunities for people in the Kootenays to gain a foothold in B.C.’s growing technology sector while helping businesses reach their full potential.

Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation funding for the project is provided through Labour Market Partnerships stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program, which funds projects that increase employability levels and shares labour market information.

Community and Employer Partnerships are featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provides support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It also helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom instruction and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.

The project aligns with the #BCTECH Strategy, a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of B.C.’s vibrant technology sector and strengthen British Columbia’s diverse innovation economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million BC Tech Fund and initiatives to increase talent development and market access for tech companies that will drive innovation and productivity throughout the province.

In partnership with the BC Innovation Council, the province is hosting B.C.’s second #BCTECH Summit, March 14-15, 2017, with made-in-B.C. tech innovations, thought-provoking keynotes and outstanding networking opportunities. To register or learn more, go to: http://bctechsummit.ca/

Quick Facts:

  • MIDAS is an applied research, commercialization and digital fabrication training facility in Trail focused on the metallurgical sector in the region surrounding the Teck Trail Operations smelter.
  • In 2016-17, the Ministry of Social development and Social Innovation has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour market programs under the Employment Program of British Columbia.
  • The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
  • Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the five components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
    • Job Creation Partnerships
    • Labour Market Partnerships
    • Project-Based Labour Market Training
    • Research and Innovation
    • Social Innovation

Who is eligible for Community and Employer Partnerships funding?

  • Businesses
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Crown corporations
  • Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
  • First Nation bands/tribal councils
  • Public health and educational institutions

Learn More:

Learn more about the Kootenay Association of Science and Technology: www.kast.com

For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP

Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca

Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi

For more information on B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills

To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/

For more information about the #BCTECH Strategy: www.bctechstrategy.ca

Learn more about the #BCTECH Summit coming in March 2017: http://bctechsummit.ca

Originally posted at BC Gov News.