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Hit the bricks Johnny Appleseed. These makers travel the country starting businesses and inspiring STEM students.

It’s a community. It’s a big Facebook group. It’s also a bit of an incubator, a STEM education organization, and an R&D platform. But most impressively, it’s a bus!

CoCreateX is a community of over 1,500 skilled collaborators and makers that combine their talents to help people with projects, patent inventions, and start and grow businesses. The members share ideas with each other while offering and soliciting a mix of volunteer and paid help on projects. The tone of the community is best described by its mission: to celebrate, sustain, and empower helpful and thankful people.

The first road trip drove from Minneapolis to Boston, stopping to visit schools and community members along the way.

Equipped with a MakerBot Replicator+, computers and plenty of workspace, founders Nick Powley, Mac Cameron, and Trevor Laughlin appropriately refer to the bus as their mobile innovation center. As a community driven organization, the team is dedicated to inspiring young students to explore their own creativity and emerging technologies like 3D printing.

“We stopped at a middle school in Concord, Massachusetts and packed the bus with kids to talk 3D design and printing,” Nick explained. “There’s so much possibility and opportunity in youth, our job is to deeply inspire students so that feeling of possibility extends long into adulthood.”

Bus Cookie Cutter

> Printer: MakerBot Replicator+
 
> Layer height: .2mm
 
> Infill percentage: 3%
 
> Print time: 46m
 
> Material usage: 12.21g
Mac Cameron with a functional 3D printed prototype.

The maker community model works, landing product design jobs from large brands like Legendary Foods.

 

As you can imagine, CoCreateX’s leaders are makers themselves, and have tapped the community on a number of projects that eventually become paying gigs. This Legendary Foods lid with a built in spoon is one such project, that began with President Mac’s idea for a convenient solution to snack sized utensils.

 
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