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Bar Smith - Founder, Engineer

Bar Smith graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of California Santa Cruz with concentrations in Signals and Systems and Power Engineering. Since then he ran a Kickstarter for a closed loop desktop CNC machine (Makesmith), worked at a biotech startup, and traveled South America. He believes deeply in a world where people can work together.

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Hannah Teagle - Co-founder, Communications & Outreach

Hannah Teagle graduated with a degree in Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Since then she has worked for a variety of non profits, teaching young people the joys of nature and protecting the planet we call home. She believes in a socially just world where all people have equal access to basic necessities and happiness.

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Tom Beckett - Co-founder, Crowdfunding Strategy

Tom Beckett graduated with a degree in History and a minor in Technology and Information Management from the University of California Santa Cruz. He helped co-found Makesmith CNC with Bar in 2014 and has since become deeply involved with startups and programs that facilitate entrepreneurship. The Makesmith project really hooked Tom on the concept of crowdfunding, and as a result he has obsessively kept up with crowdfunding best practices via new courses, articles, videos, podcasts and consulting arrangements. He is all about helping people find ways to self fund their dream projects into reality.

 

Our Story

In 2012, Bar began working in a graduate students’ lab that granted him access to a laser cutter and a board router. No time passed before he wanted his own rapid prototyping tool – in his home. After searching online, he came to the conclusion that the most economical desktop CNC machine available could be purchased for about $600. For a student with limited finances, purchasing a desktop CNC machine was simply impossible, so he decided to build his own.

The earliest developments of Bar's CNC machine started in the Summer of 2012. Bar arrived home from lab on many occasions with newly developed forms of the CNC router made out of laser-cut pizza boxes. Within months the pizza box prototypes began to resemble what eventually would become the Makesmith CNC.

Two years later, after several interludes in progress to focus on school, the design was finished and Bar partnered with his friend Tom to bring this project to the world. Within a few months they had prepared a Kickstarter campaign for a first production run of the Makesmith CNC. With a launch in May of 2014, they were quickly funded and relocated from Santa Cruz, CA to Santa Rosa area to spend six months fulfilling their Kickstarter rewards with the help of several friends.

After a first production run, it became apparent that the scalability and method of producing the machines was less economical and feasible than desired, and as a result, they decided to suspend the project at the very end of 2014.

2015 and the first half of 2016 were very quiet for the Makesmith CNC project and community, but Bar and a few other contributors continued to work on the Makesmith software, and photos and videos of their backers's projects continued to trickle in.

In February of 2016, Bar decided to take time off and travel to Ecuador to visit a past housemate, Hannah, who had been working down there for a while. They traveled together for two weeks, and at various points had the discussion of "What's next?". This is when the larger CNC machine concept was reintroduced, an idea Bar had casually pitched Tom as they were wrapping up Makesmith CNC over a year prior. Bar jokingly suggested that when Hannah returned from South America, if she had no other plans, she would be welcome to partner with Bar on his second CNC endeavor. And there, the seed was planted.

Bar and Hannah continued to stay in touch as he made his way north through Latin America while Hannah continued her work in Ecuador. Each time they talked Bar's joke slowly started to feel like a far-off reality.

Some time later, when both were stateside again, Bar and Hannah kept in touch and had some extended talks, in which Hannah learned that Bar had not only tested and proved some of his assumptions with the larger CNC concept, but he had a functional prototype - the Maslow CNC. It was not long afterward that Bar made a serious pitch for Hannah to partner-up and help bring this invention to market.

At the same time, Bar had been keeping Tom updated on his progress with the new CNC project. With an additional partner, and a dash of Bar's unwavering optimism to help make the world a better place, Tom officially joined the effort as well and the Maslow team was formed.

Our story will continue to unfold this October, when Maslow is debuted to the world of builders, creatives, students, hobbyists, and others on Kickstarter.

Learn more about the first project, the Makesmith CNC, at www.MakesmithCNC.com .