-  At the conclusion of the Manufacturing Innovation Summit, Institute Senior Director Gardner Carrick and EWI Chief Technology Officer Chris Conrardy visited the Columbus Idea Foundry.  Started three years ago by its CEO, Alexander Bandar, Columbus Idea Foundry gives indvidiuals the tools to manufacture their ideas into reality.  For only a $25 a month membership fee, individuals have access to a full range of on-site design, welding, and machining tools.

Alex has done extensive outreach to the region's high schools, allowing students to design products during classes at school and then manfuacturing them overnight and showing them their creation the next day.  He also brings some of the more innovative products developed at the Idea Foundry to schools to show off.

Columbus Idea Foundry, along with similar groups like TechShop, are making it possible for individuals to work with the machines that manufacture today's products.  By doing so, it lowers many of the cost barriers to entrepreneurship in manufacturing.  And when paired together with application centers like EWI, potentially provides a platform for the next great invention or great American manufacturing company.

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