By Bud Cordova
The Air Force Research Laboratory is building a stronger community of innovators by sharing expertise with other “makers” in Albuquerque.
AFRL recently got involved with Central New Mexico Community College FUSE Makerspace by purchasing a corporate membership.
“This is great for people who want to rapidly fabricate a new prototype or even fix something fast that is broken,” said AFRL scientist and Technology Engagement Office staff member Oscar Martinez.
He added the opportunity also opens up community interactions.
“Being able to interact with the community and nurture the culture of science, sharing, learning and teaching can spark innovation,” Martinez said.
The membership allows 10 AFRL workers at the Makerspace at a time. Any AFRL employee or contractor may use the membership.
AFRL membership use is encouraged for work and during employees’ free time. Makerspace has items for screen-printing, 3-D printers, laser cutters, machining equipment and much more.
“Having AFRL employees come in is a good fit. It gets them involved with the community and can spur new ideas,” said Makerspace instructor Jim Berry.
Berry developed Makerspace and had an open house a year ago to further entrepreneurship in Albuquerque. It’s open to the public.
Members must complete equipment-specific basic operating safety classes. Makerspace also hosts classes on creating unique items, such as rings for Valentine’s Day or snowboards and skateboards.
“AFRL employees can even use the space to learn a new hobby; all of it is available to them,” Martinez said.
Makerspace is on the CNM main campus in the Ted Chavez Hall East, Room 134. The hours are noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, visit “AFRL Makerspace” on Facebook, or contact FUSE Makerspace at 224-3721 or fusemakerspace.org.