Making in the Big City

Here at Tormach, we always welcome customers (and potential customers) to come visit our facilities near Madison, WI, but sometimes it’s easier for us to make an appearance at various events. This past weekend, Tormach employees were all over the map. Saturday and Sunday we showed off the PCNC 440 just down the highway from Tormach Headquarters at the Milwaukee Maker Faire. The event was held at the Wisconsin State Fair grounds and exhibited everything from lightening in a box to working replicas of R2-D2. Also over the weekend, a Tormach crew found themselves at the second largest Maker Faire that Make: Magazine hosts, in New York. While we were milling fidget spinners and talking shop, there was still a lot to see in and around the New York Hall of Science. The Maker Faire events attract both young and old inventors and makers, and gives some folks their first opportunity to see many machine tools first-hand and ask questions. The International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces (ISAM) is still happening in Cleveland, OH at Case Western Reserve University, where a Tormach team is busy introducing academics and makerspace creators to the world of CNC. This event is a collaborative effort by several universities, including Yale, MIT, and Berkeley, among others, to help educational institutions develop makerspaces and provide more hands-on opportunities to students and teachers. Tormach is teaching a class at this event, where we're taking attendees from art to part, so they can experience exactly what goes into machining a part – we taught a similar class during Tormach Tech Days at the beginning of August. Coming up, we’ll be at Gamehole Con in Madison, WI on November 2-5 with a PCNC 440.


Maker Faire: Live Demos and the World's Largest Show-and-Tell

Last weekend, Tormach showed off a PCNC 440 just down the road at the Madison Maker Faire. With local maker celebrities, like Ben Heck and ArcAttack (Tesla Coil Music), as well as our two local makerspaces (Sector67 and The Bodgery), the event brought in over 4,000 eager makers.


Making Chips at Maker Faire

This last weekend, bus-loads of makers descended on the New York Hall of Science in Queens to attend the 2016 World Maker Faire. Tormach was there to show off our PCNC 440, which was unveiled at the same even last year, and we got to see quite an array of projects and maker tools. The booth next door specialized in molding materials for masks and costume prosthetics. Of course, there was an array of 3D printers and customizable PCB companies. There were several FIRST Robotics teams on-site to show off their builds from last season. There were all kinds of art sculptures and kinetic activities for kids and adults – plus the occasional musical break-out. We even had several customers stop by the booth, one of which (ReDeTec) also had a booth at the faire and is using their PCNC 770 to make a plastic recycling unit for more sustainable 3D printer filament. Photo Credit: Mike Senese, Make: Magazine And, Make: Magazine put us in their photo-roll of the event, showing off a Raspberry Pi Zero case that just came off the PCNC 440. We’re already looking forward to the next Maker Faire in San Francisco next spring, but we always love to see what Tormach owners are making. Send your projects and machining pictures to, and you may just see them pop up in the blog!


Tormach’s Magical Mystery Tour from Santa Cruz to Napa Valley

Last week was quite busy around here. We spent a week meeting some of our customers in the San Francisco and Northern California region, and hearing about how they use their machines building everything from BattleBots to incubating start-up businesses. Be sure to keep an eye on our upcoming customer stories to see all the cool ideas that are floating around the bay area. A week of travel around the region culminated in a trip to the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, which is dubbed the “largest show-and-tell on Earth.” Maker Faire is one of the biggest events helping to promote the maker movement – in fact, it could be argued that this event is what started the maker movement. Thousands descended upon the San Mateo Event Center to see everything from steam-punk gadgets to innovative tools to DIY robots. And, Lisa Winter, one of our Brand Ambassadors, was there to talk about being on ABC's BattleBots and participate in a panel about women in robotics. Also, last week we announced our latest accessory, the RapidTurn, which allows you to perform turning operations on your PCNC 1100 or PCNC 770 mill. There’s already been a lot of buzz about the RapidTurn, but in case you missed it, check out the videos that show what our newest accessory can do. [youtube]xTcBV90zReo[/youtube] [youtube]QGJyNwjAKSA[/youtube]


Tormach Is Hitting the Road

Madison Mini Maker Faire

Tormach is hitting the road for a number of awesome events around the country, starting in our own backyard at the Madison Mini Maker Faire in Madison, WI. On Saturday May 14, we’ll be making an appearance at the Monona Terrace in downtown Madison to show off the PCNC 440.


The New Tech Ed – Making, Teaching, Tools, and Mixing It All Together

Last week, we had a visit from the Milwaukee Maker Space, which is just a short drive down the Interstate. And the week before, folks from a Madison, WI makerspace, known as The Bodgery, joined us for a product demo. Last fall, another Madison makerspace, Sector 67, got a PCNC 1100 for their growing shop. At Tormach, we’ve always had an affection for makers. We’ve witnessed, first-hand, how the world of making and tinkering has helped to usher STEM/STEAM movement and how making and educating have continued to evolve. Educators are becoming makerspace owners/organizers, and makers are becoming teachers, and as a machine tool-maker, we couldn’t be more excited. Makerspaces have always provided crowdsourced tools to their members, like Sector 67’s PCNC 1100, but now more than ever, we’re seeing schools and colleges take advantage of these spaces as well. What’s more, these organizations are embracing the insertion of education into their spaces. You go to a makerspace to both use tools that may otherwise be unavailable and learn how to use new tools – all of which, looks to inspire more creative engineering and fabrication. Proper education is key to cultivating successful makers, while making helps to both galvanize and stimulate education. The evolving combination of education and making is sure to continue expanding the horizons of the tech world, and engineering in general. Getting tools in the hands of these students is important to making sure that both makers and educators are successful. We’re excited to have so many makerspaces using Tormach machines to do so – and many great makerspaces and schools right in our backyard. Tormach will be making appearances at the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) conference on March 2-4 and we’ll also be at the Bay Area Maker Faire May 20-22.

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