CECFC(Colorado Early Colleges Fort Collins) was founded in 2012 as a tuition-free, open enrollment public charter high school. Our mission is to ensure that each student, regardless of background or skill level, will have the opportunity to pursue a growth mindset that will allow them to achieve mastery and to demonstrate that they can succeed in school, in college, and in their chosen career. No exceptions. No excuses.
What impact has your project had in your community?
Colorado Early Colleges Fort Collins offers a variety of classes, clubs, and workshops that are geared towards career readiness and promoting making in education. As a school we offer geometry in construction, woodworking, entrepreneurship, science of skateboarding, CAD, construction, applied technology, robotics and textiles. By involving our students in these hands-on, real-world applications of classroom concepts, they are gaining knowledge, confidence, and experience in unique disciplines they are interested in pursuing. We provide our students with a space to explore their passions in an environment that they can be themselves and thrive. As a school, we are empowering our community of students to pursue their dreams and as a result, providing the overall community with educated, capable employees.
Has being involved in the Maker Faire helped you previously or what are you looking forward to if this is your first faire?
This is our first year at the event but we are excited to share our passion for making and hopefully inspire others to incorporate more hands on learning in education.
What is the backstory to your project?
Colorado Early Colleges Fort Collins recognized the growth that was occurring in our school and moved into a new building two years ago. An important aspect of our new facility was to have room for our students to explore their creativity and work with their hands. This came to fruition in our Innolab, which is a 6,000 square foot space that houses a CNC Mill, laser printer, wood working equipment, 3-D printers and sewing equipment. In two years CECFC has launched a variety of cross-disciplinary programs that incorporate the use of the Innolab, including science of skateboarding, entrepreneurship and geometry in construction.

 

C3D TAPS  will be promoting their service at the Denver Maker Faire this year on October 13 & 14 (Saturday & Sunday).

This services offers breweries, home brewers, and other entities to have their own custom designed and 3D printed tap handles for their home or business!

They are truly custom, designed quickly, robust, cost-effective, short lead times, and no minimum orders.

WHAT IMPACT HAS YOUR PROJECT HAD IN YOUR COMMUNITY OR WITH THE AUDIENCE YOU ARE HOPING TO REACH?

Tap handles are a curious item. Not many people know what you are talking about until you say “the stick that pours the beer”. But these items are extremely crucial branding for breweries, because if your tap handle doesn’t stand out… neither does your product (beer).

Another thing many people don’t know is that it is the brewery that supplies tap handles to bars and restaurants, so any lost, stolen, or broken taps fall on the brewery to replace (and they are not cheap).

The average generic tap handle cost between $20-40/ tap and the custom tap handles average $100+/tap. Next, most tap handle companies require a minimum order of 200 or more (at this point, homebrewers don’t have access to custom designed tap handles). On top of this the lead time are long (6-8 months). In the end, most small/expanding breweries can’t afford tap handles and if they can, then they are not getting the necessary branding  to help them stand out.

Our service to help homebrewers and breweries get the tap handles they need in their interests by offering a truly custom design, that is robust, inexpensive, and within less than a 1 or 2 month lead time. 

HAS BEING INVOLVED IN THE MAKER FAIRE HELPED YOU PREVIOUSLY OR WHAT ARE YOU ARE LOOKING FORWARD
TO IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME?

We are hoping to reach out to homebrewers at the Maker Faire (and possibly Breweries as well). This is our first public outreach event, so we are hoping for the best.

WHAT IS THE BACKSTORY TO YOUR PROJECT?

The backstory is pretty simple. In 2014, my friends who owned a brewery in New Mexico were going through expansions (opening 2 new location, upgrading their system, and distributing their products to bars and restaurants throughout the state). They had a group design their tap handles for about $75-150/tap and they were waiting 6-8 months for the order to be complete. At the same time they were going through re-branding so the tap handles they previously ordered did not match. 

One of the owners joked that they should buy a 3D printer and make their own tap handles because the current one were so expensive, took forever to make, and . At the time I had access to a nice color 3D printer and told them I could make a couple. Made them some samples and they loved it and they requested to have a bunch made. For a while they were my major customer and other breweries hopped on.

Recently being done with school, I decided to push this forward to a service and take advantage of the huge beer market and community here in CO. I don’t think there is a better place to start!

DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL MEMORY FROM PREVIOUS FAIRES OR SOMETHING WHICH HAS HAPPENEDAT SIMILAR EVENTS WHEN SOMEONE HAS SEEN YOUR PROJECT FOR THE FIRST TIME?

I always enjoy seeing peoples first reactions. We I tell them that I design and 3D print tap handles, they think it’s from a Maker Bot or other low end printer. But they are always shocked to see the tap handles that are full color. The funniest one is when people ask if the tap handles are made out of wood and I reply, “Nope my 3D printer makes it look like wood”, and people still scratch their heads  as comment that they didn’t know wood 3D printers existed and I slowly shake my head and try explaining the 3D printer prints the color on the parts.

 Imagine being on a planet that is completely dark; a planet where the atmosphere filters out the visible spectrum of light. There is warmth, there is air, but there is no light.

Mission to Nocterra is one of the planned highlights of this year’s Maker Faire Denver, and it will give attendees the chance to experience a world of total darkness, as they attempt to find their way through the interactive installation, October 13 – 14 at the National Western Complex.

 

Created by Tact-Ed, (with the help of designers: Dan Griner, Jenny Filipetti, Alexi High, Mara Maxwell, Brice Sullivan and Bailey Van Etten) in partnership with the Colorado Center for the Blind, the attraction is sponsored with funds from Meow Wolf.  After its initial debut at Maker Faire DenverMission to Nocterra will tour the country.

 

“It’s a chance to explore your senses and use your cognitive skills to tap into an alien world,” explains Maker Faire Denver Director, Dan Griner. “Maker Faire Denver has the theme of Inclusion this year and while it should always be a consideration, we wanted to commission something special for many of the people in our community whose experience of the world around us is different and pull back the curtain on a part of their experience. ‘Mission to Nocterra’, besides being experiential, challenges you to solve clues and derive meaning through what our more dormant senses are telling you. 

 

Project lead Matt Gesualdi, owner of Tact-Ed, has been involved in research, development and design with the blind community of Denver and Colorado Springs for 20 years. He has an extensive background in Industrial Design and Model Making.  Currently, Gesualdi has two pieces exhibited at the Denver Art Museum to help people with visual impairments understand parts of the exhibits. He says, “My emphasis is always to help people understand the scale of objects, large or small, as compared to themselves.”

 

The original design for the escape room was small and simple, Gesualdi explains. “Expanding the idea and making it so everyone could enjoy it was a great design and engineering challenge. I love what we came up with so much more than the original idea.

 

Often called the Greatest Show (&Tell) on Earth, Maker Faires are showcases of invention, creativity and resourcefulness with sister celebrations around the world.  From Rome to NY innovators, craftspeople, scientists and kids are showing off their home-brewed creations from fire breathing robots to library maker spaces. Beyond hobbyists, Maker Faire Denver showcases companies from around Colorado who are developing the future today, utilizing cutting edge tools!

 

 

Mission to Nocterra is included with admission to this year’s Maker Faire Denver. Ticket prices range from $8 – $15 for a full day of interactive exhibits and demonstrations. Children under age 4 are admitted free and Family 4-packs and VIP tickets are also available. Maker Faire Denver is owned and operated by Making Progress Colorado, a registered non-profit organization. Information and tickets are available at www.denver.makerfaire.com.–
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