What can you create?

When you have access to the right tools, the answer is… Anything.

Hub & Spoke Tools of the Trade

This is truly a Maker Playground. Take a look at what Hub & Spoke’s makerspace has to offer.

CNC Router

What can you do with a CNC router? A better question is what can’t you do with it! It’s a maker’s dream and can handle an astonishing array of projects, from clocks, sculptures, puzzles, and bowls to furniture, corbels, shelves, and custom cabinetry. In the right hands (… yours!), it can produce intricate, ornate, high-quality pieces in a highly efficient manner.

A CNC (computer numerical control) router cuts wood, plastic, aluminum, high-density foam, and other materials, typically along the X (front to back), Y, (left to right), and Z (up and down) axes. An integrated computer guides the machine, which makes it faster and much more precise than human-operated cutting/drilling tools.

You can’t think up a great idea, jot it on a napkin, and get started. Well… you most certainly can do that if you’d like, but then you’ll need to convert your scribblings into a computer drawing. With these inputs, the machine does the work.

Check out this helpful tutorial on the CNC router process, from creating/copying computer drawings to pressing RUN. Hub & Spoke boasts a 4’ x 8’ Shopbot CNC Router, which would be cost-prohibitive for a hobby workshop (or even many small pro shops!). By using a community resource, we all win!

3D Printer

3D printers are one of those inventions we’d have said, “Oh man, can you imagine if such a thing existed?!” as kids. Today, our kids can say, “Oh man, can you imagine what I can make with this thing?!”

(The excitement does not have an age-limit, nor does the urge to create… and use cool tools!)

Under the guidance of Makerspace Teacher-in-Residence, Jennifer Suskovich, Hamilton Southeastern fifth-graders get the opportunity to say, “Oh man, look what I made.” In this case, it was a 3D fidget spinner. What’ll it be in your case?

Hub & Spoke offers an Ultimaker 2 + 3D Printer, Ultimaker S3 3D Printer, and Ultimaker S5 3D Printer (the most notable difference is in terms of size) that can be used for… pretty much anything you can dream up. Whether a customized keychain, pocket screwdriver kit, cat feeder, storage container, fittings, adapters, or RC car, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination – and facility with the machine!

Like the CNC router, 3D printers run on the numbers. You can design one yourself using CAD or use an existing design. Then, translate the design into coordinates that the computer understands. This is called slicing, and it’s done using Ultimaker’s integrated software. When you get used to it, it’ll take you just seconds to do this. Then, you’re ready to print your design.

Laser Cutter

Cut, engrave, and create. Laser printers use ultra-concentrated, focused light to melt, burn, or vaporize the material you are using. In a CO2 laser cutter, a laser beam is created in a tube of C02 gas. Mirrors and lenses direct the beam to the head of the laser and to the desired areas of the material. Motors, which are electronically controlled, then move the laser head to cut or engrave per your specifications. Once again, you have to put your design into a file that can be understood by the machine.

Our BossLaser HP 3655 is capable of cutting/engraving a wide variety of materials, including leather, wood, plastic, acrylic, rubber, paper, fabric, MDF, foam, fiberglass, cardboard, aluminum, steel, brass, and copper.

The versatility makes the laser cutter a favorite of makers, sellers, and hobbyists alike. Games, puzzles, household items, jewelry, custom lighting, and other possibilities are all on the horizon.

Tools like CNC routers, 3D printers, and laser cutters are pricey – and often out of reach financially. But they are not out of reach logistically. Hub & Spoke’s makerspace is where you can put all of your great ideas to the test and produce anything from the practical to the whimsical.

Sign Up for Shop Class

Safety first, folks! And also… How in the world do you use these powerful tools? You may be excited to try but how do you approach a CNC router, slice a 3D design, or engrave an intricate design?

You start at the beginning: Shop Class. Here, we cover operational safety and procedures and provide training. You must complete shop class in order to reserve the CNC router, 3D printers, and laser cutter. For Maker Playground members, this is just $10 and for non-members just $40. Learning new skills, though, is priceless!

Visit https://hubandspoke.works/makerspace/ to learn more. Or better yet, come and see us.