The Tools For Building Your Dream

new Chippewa Falls maker space lends heavy tools, experience

Gigi Roelant

LET THE SPARKS FLY. Club MTC Makerspace in Chippewa Falls has everything any gearhead could ever need. They hope to nurture startups with heavy tools and knowhow.
LET THE SPARKS FLY. Club MTC Makerspace in Chippewa Falls has everything any gearhead could ever need. They hope to nurture startups with heavy tools and knowhow.

On the first day of Christmas MTC offered me ... vinyl cutters, machine metal fabrication, a seriously loaded woodshop, welding and soldering set ups, computers teeming with design software, a laser engraving station … and a nested CNC Machine.

That truncated little jingle doesn’t do justice to the sheer amount of equipment you can find at Club MTC Makerspace (Machine Tool Camp) in Chippewa Falls, and yet there is still plenty of open space in their 7,500 square foot facility. Perhaps this untapped potential has played a part in motivating MTC into opening its doors for members of Club MTC, which is already being described as a “gym for makers.”

“We’re trying to offer tools, equipment, and technology to an entire gamut of people that wouldn’t likely be able to get access otherwise, people from all walks of life.” – Club MTC Makerspace director Scott Kauphusman

Machine Tool Camp has been part of the Chippewa Falls backdrop since 2007. It specializes in building large industrial CNC-controlled machinery, but its capabilities don’t stop there. Volume One had the chance to meet with owner Scott Kauphusman to discuss the plans for Club MTC.

“We’re trying to offer tools, equipment, and technology to an entire gamut of people that wouldn’t likely be able to get access otherwise, people from all walks of life,” he said.

People can take classes to learn how to use the various pieces of equipment (an offering that will be free, with a few exceptions, to members).

Kauphusman doesn’t believe in one perfect type of maker and says, “The people that we are hoping will come will be a mixture of things. They’ll be students working on a project for school. They’ll be someone who just likes to tinker and wants to run a wood lathe and make a vase. They’ll be someone that wants to run a 3D printer. They’ll want to bring a part in and fix something that’s broken on their car. We have so much technology and equipment; there aren’t many holes that we’re missing.”

Club MTC wants to be your “one stop shop from concept through production,” and they have the equipment and know-how to make it happen.

It’s the year of the entrepreneur, or at least as we at Volume One and beyond have designated it, and MTC wants to be a helping hand for all inspiring entrepreneurs.

“We want to be an incubator for a startup business opportunity,” Kauphusman said. And with everything from equipment to space, to house materials to a conference room you can rent to host meetings, MTC has it all. A member can even go as far as renting out space for an office with phone lines and WIFI already lined and waiting.

Kauphusman has a few words of advice to offer any inventors, entrepreneurs, or passionate tinkerers that may be hesitant about learning a new skill: “None of the equipment that we have here is so difficult that you need a PhD or lengthy experience to use it. All you need is access to it and a little start-out help to get you going. Then you need the time to practice and develop your skill and craft just like any other part of life.”

Club MTC is already accepting members and will be having multiple open houses over the coming months, so keep an eye open. The official opening is February 1, but new members may start getting access to the space and equipment by mid-January.

For more information on the space or membership to Club MTC check out their website at www.clubmtc.net.