Kootenays MIDAS Fab Lab featured on CBC

In case you missed it MIDAS Fab Lab was recently featured on CBC. The interview sports some fun sound intros and covers the awesome of MIDAS from the accessibility to 400k of leading edge additive and digital fabrication equipment to MIDAS offering the region training whether individual or commercial in understanding what the equipment is, why it is important and how to work it.

“Entrepreneurs, engineers and people who like to tinker in the West Kootenay can now get access to some of the latest digital fabrication technology.The Kootenay Association for Science and Technology opened the MIDAS Fab Lab earlier this month. The lab and others like them around the world, provide public access to high-tech manufacturing equipment.

MIDAS program director, Amber Hayes, shows off a prosthetic hand created at the Fab Lab. “It’s a 6,000 sq. ft. lab and it hosts about $400,000 in cutting edge equipment that the public is able to use via membership,” said MIDAS program director, Amber Hayes, to CBC reporter, Bob Keating.Among the equipment available to use at the lab are 3-D scanners, 3-D printers and computer-controlled machining tools.
“We can do things like using a 3-D scanner to scan an item and then we can print it on a 3-D printer and folks can use that as a prototype,” said Hayes.”Or they can come to us with pictures and designs and input those and actually print them out in a hard copy version of what that design was, so everything from drones, planes, pieces for equipment, to you name it, you can pretty much design it and print it here.”

“The finger pieces are actually made using the 3-D printer,” said Hayes. “And we can do the robotics here in order to make those fingers move … as well as teaching people how to do basic programing to make that work.”

Besides providing access to equipment, the MIDAS Fab Lab also provides technical training and business coaching through the Kootenay Association for Science & Technology or KAST’s Venture Acceleration Program. Memberships for the West Kootenay lab are available to the general public and range from $25 for a one-day drop-in to $480 for a full year.Hayes says the region is already home to lots of people who “are working in their basements or they’re soldering in their kitchens.””They need access to better equipment and some of the businesses out there may have concepts that they want to prototype but don’t have access to close to half-a-million-dollars worth of equipment. MIDAS will provide that for them.”

KAST built the $2 million MIDAS Fab Lab with funding from the federal government… (Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) and locally the Columbia Basin Trust.

To listen to Bob Keating’s Daybreak South story click on the link: New B.C. Fab Lab brings high tech tools to the public

CBC Article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/trail-midas-fab-lab-kast-1.3783238
CBC Radio show: http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2695598755

New Courses for October

Midas Fab Lab has a number of new courses including 1-2 hr. competency courses to introduce you to equipment as well as longer workshops that involve multiple pieces of equipment that give you the skills to create a project. Visit the MIDAS Course page to view the calendar.

MIDAS Fab Lab Creaform 3D Scanner intro and Demo class

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

The LAB (new images)

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

Metal lab


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


The Delta printer creating..


CNC devices

Learning Center

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

Made at MIDAS


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

MIDAS in the News: Rossland and Trail attracting technology talent


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(click article to read more )


MIDAS Fab Lab Opening Sept 7th

Event: Sept. 7th, 11 a.m – 1  p.m.

Meet our gear! “FAB”rication equipment will shortly be available for public, academic & commercial use, right here in the West Kootenay. The building is a newly renovated and easily accessible space with state of the art, enterprise-level equipment and training on equipment including: 3D Printers, 3D scanners, CNC milling equipment, woodworking, an electronics lab, teaching and co-working space and more!

MIDAS is a creative collaboration; a blank slate for turning community and commercial ideas into gold. We’d like you to have a first ‘peek’ at the facility as our guest prior to the commencement of operations. You’re invited for the official ‘ribbon’ cutting, a tour, a demonstration, networking and lunch!

MIDAS Memberships & Training Available

New MIDAS Lab Director: Brad Pommen

Lab Director Brad Pommen

MIDAS Lab Director: Brad Pommen

Brad Pommen, Mr. Technology: hacker, maker, technology enthusiast and a leader in STEM initiatives, brings his tremendous passion and experience to take the helm as MIDAS Lab Director.

Brad, President of the Nelson Tech Club Hackerspace, since 2010 has have taught hundreds of people, of all ages, how to code, design and adopt emerging technologies in the local community.

For the past 4 years he has organized a successful robotic educational event called “RoboGames” for local youth which has attracted over 80 participants in 2016 and entertained hundreds of spectators.

Brad regularly lectures for community groups on multiple technology subjects and coordinate the successful weekly, all-ages “Hackerspace”, partnered with Selkirk College. Brad has a record for successful project management, client-care satisfaction and quality adherence in dynamic software and technology environments.

He is a Kootenay-wide technology network liaison, providing professional representation, influence in technology funding and STEM education leadership and maintain strong networking relationships with local technology supporters and businesses.

Brad Pommen is a tremendous asset to the MIDAS Lab program and will continue to inspire, motivate and educate as he makes himself comfortable in his new role.

We’re Hiring! MIDAS Lab Director – Closes July 8, 2016

The MIDAS Lab Director will work under the direction of the MIDAS Project Director to technically prepare the MIDAS lab to plan, implement and successfully launch necessary operations, membership and training programs by September 7, 2016. Read more