The Mint, Rutland’s Makerspace, is Open!

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Rutland has joined the Makerspace movement with the opening of The Mint. Located at 112 Quality Lane in Rutland, The Mint is a collaborative community workshop and business incubator.  Born out of the Rutland Mini Maker Faire, led by a team of dedicated volunteers, and supported with significant investment from Rutland Economic Development Corporation (REDC), VELCO, Castleton University and Green Mountain Power, the dream of a makerspace in Rutland has become a reality.

The Mint brings many benefits to the Killington Valley region.  Empowering local creatives builds a supportive community that is more attractive to teleworkers and people relocating here from outside our region. The Mint also creates a supportive and knowledgeable network that makes staying in our region after high school or college more attractive to many young people. Attracting new residents and keeping our young people are two major economic goals for the Rutland area.

Makerspaces are collaborative spaces where people gather to creatively make, invent and share.  Making can be crafting, building, programming, sewing, doing electronics, designing in 3D software, welding – almost any tool and material might be used as part of the creative making process. Traditional making focuses on woodworking and welding.  Modern making might add in computer aided design or CNC cutting or milling, or even battery operated LEDs to add sparkle to a finished project.  The Mint is a space where tinkerers, hobbyists, makers and entrepreneurs can work side-by-side, sharing tools, space and knowledge. Vermont has several other makerspaces; two in Burlington, one in Lyndonville, one in Barnet and two planned for the Upper Valley region of VT/NH. The Mint in Rutland is the only makerspace in the southwestern part of the state.

The newly renovated space on Quality Lane features a full wood shop and metal shop, plus 3D printing.  Based on member interest and support, plans for the future include a laser cutter/engraver, paint and finish spray booth, jewelry studio, pottery studio, 36” vinyl cutter, plasma cutting table, sewing and fiber arts studio, electronics lab and programming stations. Some of The Mint’s equipment is already very popular and bringing in new members every week. The wood shop features a 4 foot by 8 foot CNC router. This machine is computer controlled and can cut many types of material to extremely precise and repeatable dimensions. Other popular wood shop equipment includes industrial quality bandsaws and drill presses, as well as a 52” t-glide Sawstop table saw.  On the metal shop side, members are excited about our metal lathe, and our Bridgeport milling machine, which has digital readouts that allow for very precise machining and drilling of metal parts and stock. The welding area, with a MIG welder set up for steel or aluminum, is also getting heavy use.  Our Prusa i3 MK2 3D printer is MAKE Magazine’s 2017 Printer of the Year, and has extremely fine resolution for a very smooth finish on 3D printed parts.  Classes have already started at The Mint.  A basic woodworking class was very popular.  Welding, 3D printing and design, CNC and more woodworking classes are all planned for the summer.  Classes are open to the general public, most requiring no previous experience.

The Mint’s Grand Opening celebration will be held on August 12th from noon to 5:00 p.m. as part of the Rutland Mini Maker Faire.  A Grand Opening ceremony will take place at 3:00 p.m. Both events will be occurring in the same location at The Mint at 112 Quality Lane in Rutland. The Mini Maker Faire will feature drones, robotics, a CNC demonstration, homemade telescopes, and many other attractions.  At the Grand Opening celebration, The Mint team will be giving tours, equipment demonstrations and signing up new members.  Sign up for a membership at the Grand Opening and receive a limited edition 3D printed Mint token to keep. There will be food and drink available. For more information about the upcoming Grand Opening, click here.

Interested and curious makers don’t have to wait until August to become members. New member orientation sessions are happening every week all summer long. To see the calendar of events at the space, get more information about becoming a member or for a digital tour, check out The Mint’s webpage at rutlandmint.org.