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Machine Repair Inspires Evening Class Idea in Pembrokeshire

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Fab Lab Pembrokeshire, based at the Bridge Innovation Centre (BIC) in Pembroke Dock, is to host a series of engineering evening classes – thanks to the renovation of a specialist machine.

Fab Labs are situated around the country. Short for Fabrication Laboratory, they are workshops where people can build, code, solder, design and engineer most things that they can think of using modern techniques of digital design and manufacture.

The planned evening classes at the Fab Lab centre around a project to build and then operate a CNC cutting tool which can be used on plywood, chipboard, laminates and MDF as well as cutting much smaller details with a high degree of accuracy.

d17c9275-c3c3-4cd1-9649-1935b57c4c57_image_jpegCNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. This means a computer converts a design into number which can then be considered to be the co-ordinates of a graph and control the movement of the cutter.

Over half a dozen people have already expressed an interest in the classes which are to be taken by businessman Ian Beaver who runs ‘SheetCNC’ – a small machine shop near Narberth.

He came to the attention of BIC manager, David Thomas, when Ian discovered a redundant milling machine left in the corner of the Fab Lab workshop. After several weeks, he managed to get it working again.

It was those skills that convinced David that building a full size CNC tool and learning how to operate it could be the basis for the evening classes.

“Once the machine is built, it can be used to produce items that people need for their specific project” David explained.

“We are delighted that Ian has agreed to tutor the classes. We think the CNC machine will be of interest to a range of skilled makers, hobbyists and interested beginners in Pembrokeshire.”

The production of the sheet CNC machine is expected to run over a six week period.

Anyone interested in being part of the project, have any suggestions for other projects or would like some information on how to access Fab Lab, contact Fab Lab Pembrokeshire on 01646 689309 or by emailing david.thomas2@pembrokehire.gov.uk