After COVID-19 became a public health concern FUSE Makerspace closed to the public along with the rest of CNM, soon after FUSE’s resources became focused on helping the efforts to fight COVID-19. Alice was one of the first members to contact us.
She had heard an NPR story about an open-source face shield that could be 3D printed and contacted friends in the local maker community. Tanda Headrick of Vanguard-Tech, was one on the list whom she worked with to modify the design. Instead of 3D printing, they changed the design to be cut out by water-jet or laser, allowing hundreds to be made in the time it took to 3D print one. Other elements were changed to make the shields more functional, stay together better, and last longer. She has made and delivered over 1,000 face shields to a local hospital with FUSE staff members’ assistance.
Alice is also the founder of 505 Access, which designs and customizes assistive technologies. She founded the company after several life-changing incidents, including separate severe car accidents involving her and her sister, to help make accessibility more affordable. After her accident, which involved a yearlong rehabilitation to return to work, she became aware of the actor Christopher Reeve’s horse-riding accident and believed, like her, he would make a full recovery. When he did not, she became interested in learning more about neuroscience. In the process, she grew to be involved in helping the mobility impaired. Finding solutions to help them perform everyday actions most of us take for granted.
Sixteen years after her accident, Alice’s sister was involved in a car accident, which left her in the hospital for two months. During this time, due to being unable to work, Alice’s sister lost her job and access to health insurance. Realizing how common her sister’s situation was and how much her own ability to keep working aided in her recovery, she decided to do something to help.
505Access has worked with the state and local non-profits in New Mexico and has done outreach with local schools. There are several open-source designs for assistive technologies available on their website. One of which is a DIY cell phone stand that allows ASL (American Sign Language) speakers to communicate easier.
She is currently working with a group of friends to form a new non-profit Nexus Abilities.
Name: Wesley Eccles
Employer: Electric Playhouse
What is Electric Playhouse?
Electric Playhouse is a 21st-century entertainment center for people of all ages that produces unique creative worlds for immersive & interactive experiences, including games, dining, and recreation.
Tell us a little bit about what you’re making?
At FUSE, we built the tunnel entrance, which signals the beginning of the Electric Playhouse experience. I designed and built the tunnel with Owen Schwab. Its comprised of 250 individual CNC routed pieces, 10,000 individual controllable LED lights, 67 sheets of plywood, which make up 25 individual ribs, all while being ADA compliant. It took about a month and a half to build. You may have seen parts throughout the shop during the build.
One of my other large projects took place last summer. I designed and fabricated the Welcome to Albuquerque display at the International Sunport. This project used almost every tool on the FUSE shop floor and required that I learn a few new ones too. I used the AP Lazer for cutting a 4’x10′ sheet of acrylic on the pass-through and enhanced our finishing work by powder coating all the custom metal fixtures. This project allowed me to become an expert on the AP Lazer for sure quickly.”
What was the most valuable thing to you here?
“I think FUSE is a super unique space for small businesses. I was able to create the fabrication side of Electric Playhouse because we have access to a wide variety of tools and space to build our project. However, the biggest asset at FUSE would be the community of makers. There is a wide range of individuals with different fabrication tips and tricks.”
What does your process look like?
“I always start with a digital model in Rhino. It allows me to communicate my ideas and figure out the problems that lie ahead. After I have perfected the model, you find me at a local coffee shop developing all of my cut files from the 3D model. Then I go to FUSE and fabricate all night and put it back together before Dena arrives the next morning.”
What advice would you give to someone who might be considering joining FUSE?
“Come check it out and ask anyone working on a project about what they are making. Makers love to share what they are making. Then jump in and take a class. Once you take the workshop, you will better understand the tools and reduce any anxiety around that specific tool. If you need help, ask. As I said, FUSE has a great maker community with a wealth of fabrication knowledge.”
What were the biggest things you learned?
“Learning to work in a community space. I also have had the opportunity to learn how to use the metal lathe and mill.”
What were some complete failures you have run into?
“Every project has something that doesn’t go as planned. You have to use it as an opportunity to redesign or figure out a workaround to make the designs come to life.”
What’s your favorite tool?
“ CNC Router Shopbot ”
How do you see yourself growing?
“Because of our business membership at FUSE, we have been able to extend the fabrication side of the business at Electric Playhouse and offer a unique experience for clients around the country.”
What is your proudest moment as a maker?
“I’m most proud when my projects become widely recognized and photographed. Seeing people excited about my projects gives me energy to tackle the next one. I have been able to create my dream job by working for Electric Playhouse and fabricating out of FUSE.”
Anything else you’d like us to highlight?
“Every project I have made here has had a ton of influence from the community at FUSE. I wouldn’t be able to achieve the quality or scale of work without the support of the community and Owen.”
You can follow Wesley’s maker journey on his personal Instagram @wesleyeccles.
FUSE Makerspace Holiday Hours
December 19th-22 10 am-7 pm
December 27th-29th 10 am-7 pm,
We will be closed for the holiday:
December 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 30th, and January 1st.