By now, most people in the Mahoning Valley have heard about the America Makes facility and the 3-D manufacturing occurring inside.
They have heard politicians, business leaders, academics and even President Barack Obama promote the facility.
Now, for the first time, the 236 W. Boardman St. facility will open its doors to the public Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.
The Youngstown Maker City Initiative Kickoff open house event is part of the Maker City weekend scheduled Thursday through Sunday and includes a number of private events that are being hosted by Make: magazine, a publication that focuses on 3-D manufacturing.
People have heard a lot about the facility, said Scott Deutsch, manager of communications and special programs at America Makes.
“The people in the manufacturing world understand what we do,” he said. “This is a chance for the public to come out and see it for themselves.”
There is a lot of research going on in the facility, and people might not understand everything, but it will show what 3-D manufacturing technology is and some of its applications, Deutsch said.
This event will showcase the technology and what it might do in the future, said Barb Ewing, chief operating officer for the Youngstown Business Incubator. There are applications for 3-D manufacturing from the hobbyist to large manufacturing firms.
The issue is that a lot of a people don’t understand what this technology could do for them, Deutsch said.
“The more people that get their hands on the technology, the more opportunities will be created,” Ewing said.
The overall event is exciting because it helps to reinforce the idea of Youngstown as an American Maker City, Deutsch said.
“We’re also glad to welcome our colleagues and friends from Make: magazine,” he said.
Representatives from Make: could not be reached to comment.
Workers from America Makes are proud of the facility and look forward to showing it to the public, Deutsch said.
“Hopefully this facility is something we can all rally around and be proud of,” he said. “This is an exciting opportunity for America Makes.”
Sunday’s event will feature local hobbyists and makers, 3-D printer demonstrations, and tours of the America Makes facility. Additionally, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, on Sunday will announce the official Maker City Pledge, outlining the city’s plans to support the local Maker movement.
Members of the community can register for free tickets to Sunday’s open house event on America Makes’ website — www.americamakes.us — or by calling 330-259-7644. It’s preferred that those attending the open house register in advance, but it’s not mandatory.