Out with the Old Pueblo; In with the New Pueblo: Tangible Technology comes to Tucson

itgirl2By KATELYN ROBERTS

Turn on your device. Connect to Wi-Fi. Plug into power. Agree to terms and conditions. Wait.

It’s simplicity and ease in five steps. All you have to remember is your password.

Whether it’s a quick software update or an app that helps you fight evil unicorns from entering your nightmares, almost all of our interactions with electronics exist behind a screen.

We tap on it, use multi-touch gestures, move a cursor, click, scroll, drag a stylus and swipe right (but usually left).

And that gets the job done. It gets some of the most important code in the world done. It does the math. It makes the app. It designs the logo. It clicks the link. It shows you how many likes you have.

But what about physical and discernible technology? What about tangible technology? Something you can create on your computer and see the results of not behind a screen, but in the palm of your hand.

For Ivan Davis, that something is 3D printing, and it’s alive and thriving.

David has 25 years of software development under his belt and operated a lot of specialty machinery throughout his career. After carpal tunnel surgery, however, he didn’t want to go back to typing for a living. So, he thought about opening a 3D print shop.

3D printing technology has been around since the ‘80s, but it’s only become accessible within the last five to 10 years. Maybe your high school shop had one. Now your techy neighbors and co-workers do.

ivan_3itgirl2ivan_1The most common type of printing is called fused deposition modeling. FDM 3D printers are like laser-jet printers for photos and documents, except a third dimension is added by stacking layers as well.

Filament is melted by a hot tip. The user’s computer-drafted model is created layer by layer.

“I tried to do a lot of research,” he said. “Tucson has 100 embroidery shops, but not much 3D printing, and I can’t really sit around a desk writing code for 80 hours a week anymore.”

“I managed to use the rest of my savings from my corporate days,” he said.

Soon after, New Pueblo Tech was born.

David plans to keep the store focused on 3D printing services, sales, support and creative DIY technology. New Pueblo Tech will sell various gadgets, including wearable technology.

Cyclist jackets that light up when you signal, 3D-printed gun parts, fishing lures and smart watches are all for sale in the shop’s Adventure Tech section.

“I’d like people to be able to work on their own stuff too,” Davis said, referring to his three 3D printers, dye-cutter, stifling machine, hologram lab, and laser engraver and laminator lined up on tables in his studio.

David just sold his first printer to the University of Arizona’s 3D print lab.

“I wish I could keep 15 printers in my inventory, but I’m not Walmart.”

David is also making DIY kits for customers to make the tech life a little more accessible.

“I want to use everything I have to make stuff for people,” he said.

In Suite 153 of the former Firestone building located in the Warehouse Arts District at 439 N. Sixth Ave., the shop is preparing to open its doors. The first week of October will mark the opening of Tucson’s first 3D print shop.

Davis rented out a unit inside of the building, which hosts galleries, studios, shops and even a gym and is already planning collaborations with his neighboring renters for Tucson’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

“I’m really glad I found this space,” Davis said.

For more information, visit NewPuebloTech.com, or contact Davis at Ivan@NewPuebloTech.com.

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Ivan Davis displays his latest 3D-printed toys, photographs and even bottles with working screw-on lids on top of his desk in his studio. (Katelyn Roberts/Aztec Press)

 

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About the Author:

Katelyn Roberts is a student at Pima, studying multimedia journalism. Roberts is one out of two editors-in-chief at the Aztec Press.

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