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Meet Tool Tech and Past M48 Contestant Miles Davis

Not really the ‘secret sauce’ but kinda well-known, Make48’s Tool Techs have been one of the competition's dynamics since Day 1. Our tool techs volunteer their time to help teams prototype their ideas using tools in areas like 3d printing, cnc machining, laser cutting, molding/forming machines, textiles, welders and more. Make48’s co-founder’s coined the term about our group of talented professionals who are also one of the competitor's biggest cheerleaders.

Miles Davis building prototypes at Fishers, IN

Miles Davis is one of our youngest Tool Techs who's been on the crew. Miles is a 14-year old high school freshman and competed last year with his team,, in Indianapolis. They found themselves in second place and went on to compete at Nationals. Their team is currently featured on Season 5, where the challenge is inventing a STEAM the challenge theme at Nationals. Teams were assisted by Tool Techs, mentors, and industry experts in Wichita, Kan. at GoCreate, a Koch Collaborative.

“Season 5 is really special this year”, says Tom Gray, Make48 CEO & Co-Creator. “These teams were the best of the best in the ‘City Series’ competitions leading up to Nationals. The prototypes built were pretty impressive, and we can’t wait for the world to see what some minds can do. It doesn’t matter if you’re 8 or 80, anyone can have an innovative idea.”

After competing last year, Miles knew that this year he wanted to come back. The second Indianapolis challenge took place in September at Fishers Maker Playground and Miles volunteered to be a Tool Tech. “I wanted to stay involved in some way but didn't want to compete again because I put a high expectation on myself since I'd done well and it would've been hard to come back as a contestant. The Tool Techs helped me out when I competed and they felt like mentors to me. It’s one of the reasons why I got into woodworking more over the past year. I wanted to help others compete because none of our prototypes would’ve been built without the Tool Techs.”

Miles and Aaron with ShopBot Tools

Miles is working with fellow TT’s Andy Mundell and Gregg Nowling who met Miles when they competed in Indianapolis. Their team, The Mallory’s, went on to win first place and can be seen on S5 competing alongside Miles. This time around Miles is bringing other people's ideas to life. “I'm excited to help build the trophy, but overall I'm just hoping I can help people realize their ideas. And maybe one of the ideas will take off and I can say later on that I had a hand in that and was a part of the team that built the prototype.” During the 48 hours at Fishers Maker Playground Miles worked with everything from woodworking to welding, and had his hands in building both the prototypes and trophies. As far as his fondest memory at Make48, it's been about experience and the friendships he’s made. “I think it's been just getting to know all these people who seem larger than life. Like Tyler Isaacs and Brad from Project Build Stuff. It’s truly a special experience to meet your idols. And not only do I get to meet them, but work with and help them with building.”

Couple of Tool Techs: Gregg Nowling and Miles Davis

It was a treat to see so many past contestants come back and help another group of inventors, creators and dreamers build their ideas. The M48 docuseries challenges individuals of all ages, experiences and backgrounds to take an idea from conception to physical prototype, using an array of tools in a 48-hour period. I asked Miles what his advice is for those who sign up for Make48. “Trust your teammates. You choose them and you know them. But also trust everyone around you like the Tool Techs and mentors. Everyone was brought there for a reason. So trust them and trust yourself. You know what you’re doing more than anyone.”

Tool Techs at Fishers Maker Playground

If you’re wondering how you can join the Make48 competitions visit Our Tool Techs skills level the playing field when it comes to our teams. They provide the resources to prototype ideas of ranging complexities for competitors of various building expertise. Everyone has an equal shot of winning Make48 due to our amazing techs! Find out who takes home the grand prize of $10K on Season 5 on PBS.ORG.

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