Brampton’s technology playground
MakerSpace program drives grassroots creativity and innovation.
Innovators, designers and manufacturers in Brampton, Ont. have access to advanced technology and experts thanks to a unique partnership between the city, the Brampton Public Library and Sheridan College.
MakerSpace Brampton offers residents and businesses new technology, tools, expertise, programs and events at the library where they can brainstorm, network and build on their ideas.
That’s where Elizabeth Gyurán saw a flyer promoting the program developed to make advanced technology available to residents and businesses. Her car buff husband was excited at the prospect of 3D printing for car parts that are no longer available, but she wasn’t thinking about how it would change her home-based business.
Yet it did.
“MakerSpace Brampton has set me on a whole new path,” says Gyurán, owner of Pick Pocket Designs, a manufacturer of handbags. “When I saw the 3D printer, I got to thinking about what I could do with it.”
Her thoughts turned to an Old World technique called leather moulding. With a 3D printer at her disposal and expert guidance from Sheridan College faculty, she began experimenting with a new way to expand her product line.
“I’m printing moulds, making shapes that you normally could not do, or at least would be very difficult to do,” Gyurán says. “It has been an incredible opportunity to have access to this new and emerging technology and being able to try it for free. Once you start trying it, your mind starts racing about what you can do with it.”
Rebecca Raven, CEO of the library describes MakerSpace Brampton as a “collaboratory” where experts from Sheridan College lead workshops on new technologies, including 3D printing, robotics and architecture, while Brampton economic development and library staff deliver seminars that inspire creative thinking.
“It’s a sandbox, a neutral space where people can come together and share and trade ideas and build on the expertise of one another.”
Sheridan is driving new technologies with its Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies, but the college wanted to expand the opportunities presented by the school to a grassroots audience.
“Science, technology, engineering and math are critical to the economic development of any region,” says Farzad Rayegani, director of Sheridan’s advanced manufacturing centre. “A strong economy must rely on the production of something. If we don’t produce, the economy won’t be strong enough to support the services we cherish, like healthcare, policing and education. With MakerSpace Brampton, we are bringing the community together to build something and boldly say that we are still a nation of manufacturing.”
For more information visit www.brampton.ca, and search “MakerSpace.”
This article appears in the May/June 2016 issue of PLANT.