After 10+ years of designing exhibits and their components in CAD and having the product produced by others, I will finally have the ability to do so in-house. My 2008-09 FY budget was approved this Monday. The Sam Noble Museum will be getting a ShopBot.
I have been having parts produced directly from my drawings since my days at a company that built materials handling systems. Mostly components for conveyor systems (Chutes, guardrail bends, wheels) that were made from plasma-cut steel.
I transferred those skills to a new position at the Detroit Science Center where I worked as an Exhibit Developer/Designer/Fabricator during their remodeling and expansion in 2001. Here is an example of my work there, though it does not really feature any good details of the type of work we are talking about:
I have been working as Head of Exhibits for the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History for 3 years. I have a staff of 4 with a 1/2 time position I have yet to fill. For the size of our staff I feel that we accomplish some really great things, but I want to be able to boost our output AND provide our visitors with something new. I think that we have done all we can with a table saw. I am hoping the ShopBot will allow my abilities to fit my designs, not the other way around.