top of page

The Secret Sauce of 2022 - Part 2 of Make48 Tool Techs

Did you catch Make48’s sixth season on Roku last week? The premiere revealed for the first time the 7 teams heading to Nationals later this month. Participants got to experience the many steps of innovation; from brainstorming, prototyping, marketing and all the way to pitching their ideas to a panel of expert judges. It’s an arduous journey for the teams, but they get it all done, thanks in part to the unbelievable Tool Techs.

A few weeks ago we looked at Tool Techs from some of the best tool companies out there (see: the secret sauce of Make48 competitions). We had an amazing lineup of technical experts last year to assist the teams with their prototypes. Here is part 2 of Make48’s tool techs aka the ‘secret sauce’.


The GoCreate-Make48 event brought in technicians from ShopBot, Onshape, Textron, SpiritAero and Make48. Each Tool Tech brought their own touches and used a variety of fabrication tools from cad to cnc, laser engraving, metal work, woodworking and epoxying. A few of our Makers and Tool Techs included; Wes Lewis (@jameswesleyfurniture), Tyler Isaacs (@woodenwhiskerstrading), Lizzy Cook (@thehouseoftimber), Stan Fernald, Shea Zuckerman, David Fowler, Don Provencher, Liv Larson, Brian Barsamian, Ed Herold, Punk Withanachchi, Kyra Rubinstein, Clay Dudley, Mike Hutton, and Kiana Knolland.


Faculty members Marie Couture, Ben Dembroski and President Jeffrey Morin opened their doors and their technicians to the competition. Annushka Peck, Director of the 3d lab, lent her expertise and led all of our tool techs throughout the weekend. It was also the first time MatterHackers sent their representative, Joel Gordon, to Make48. Maker Scott Oram (@dadItyourselfdiy) was also introduced to his first Make48 event. Longtime tool techs Luis Rodriguez (Ultimaker) and Stan Fernald returned, as well as Tyler Isaacs and Arina Guseva. In Milwaukee and the Wisconsin area, a group of innovators also helped throughout the weekend; Kyle Jansson, Ben Engel, Carly Sydow, Mark Welhouse, Maggie Szpot, Kayle Karbowski, Emily Ramsden, Sophia Briej, Noel Feider, Monica Miller, Maddie Renner, Matthew Presutti, John Houtler-McCoy, Rylee Krumrei, Ben Yacavone, Taka Suzuki, Sarah Eichhorn and Mira Rychner.


Our Tool Techs led the 3d printing designs on the Ultimakers, lasering on the Glowforge, and the music selection in the team pit. In Madison, TREK Bicycle Corp. led the challenge and brought in mentors and tool techs to help. Ben Fisher, Zach Huber and Jesse Garrison, from TREK Bicycle Corp., lent their expertise to the Sustainability Challenge. It was Maker Luke Gelman’s (@lukeinthegarage) first Make48 event and the TotalBoat master was mixing it up with Tyler Isaacs and Joel Gordon (MatterHackers). Drew Parrett and James Wachala with Lumafield experienced their first 48 hour challenge as well. The 2-day event was held at Stoughton FabLab, where students, faculty and many local companies volunteered to be tool techs at the event. Big thanks to Jordan Connor, Piper Grant, Austin Overton, Avery Rhinerson, Zach Thomas, Pat Collins, Lucas Pechacek and Jane Bredemus. PBS Wisconsin employees; Amber Samdahl, Cailin Short, Stanislaw Luberda and Philip Ashby assisted with the marketing and Boyle Fredrickson patent attorney’s Geoffrey Behr and Keith Baxter made sure their ideas were not infringing anyone’s patent.


New Tool Techs and past ones pitched in at the first 2022 regional event at Fishers Maker Playground. Nick Snyder, Ginny Zimmerman, Marissa Deckert, Justin Hagovsky and Sarah Sandquist welcomed our team into their makerspace. New Tool Tech Dana Renay from Tools of Her Trade volunteered at her first 48 hour competition in Fishers and worked closely with the teams. We met Maker Brad Allred from Project Build Stuff, last year and he returned for another competition. A few past contestants also returned and came back as tool techs including; Miles Davis, Gregg Nowling, Cassy Coha and Andy Mundell. Dylan George (Ultimaker) Adam Kittrell (AR Innovation Hub), Joel Gordon (MatterHackers), Scott Oram, Tyler Isaacs, Monica Munoz, Bill Cundiff, Justin Farrell, Luke Faser and Curtis Wiltse also joined the teams in the innovation building competition.

North Little Rock

Arkansas saw its first Make48 event held in North Little Rock. The Trail of Tears challenge brought in a lot of creativity. Thank you to all our techs including the Innovation Hub staff who made everyone feel at home; Adam Kittrell, Zoë Eagan, Zeke Gustafson, Claret Alcalá Collins, Kendle Carter, Casey Jeffery, Elizabeth Whitley and Katelyn Cartwright. Makers Lizzy Cook (house of timber) and Caleb Harris (youcanmakethistoo), Luis Rodriguez (Ultimaker) and Joel Gordon (MatterHackers). North Little Rock companies and organizations also stepped up! Big thanks to Jason (AR Conductor), Ashton, Jacob, Ti, Shawn, Lindsay (UAPTC), Mindy (UAPTC), Robert (Matters In Motion) and a team of awesome volunteers!


Along with Tool Technicians from Onshape, MatterHackers, Airgas, Fastenal and ShopBot Tools, Dr. Cole introduced the group to Matthew Schultz, the technology and engineering director at TLA. When Matt heard about the opportunity he was excited since he’s been a maker since 2015. A collection of hands and brains assisted the competition including; Adam Smith, Bob Werner, Bobbi Bishofberger, Curtis Meyers, Dustin Springer, Jesse Domer, Joel Gordon, Paul Donovan (patent attorney), Stephan Lesavich (patent attorney), Sofiya Olson, Thomas Haney, Shannon Kelly, Jesse Seykora and Andie Bent. It wouldn’t have been possible without their hard work!

Kansas City

In Kansas City, KS local Makers joinged Lydia Knopp, the Makerspace coordinator at KSSB. Whitney Manney (WHITNEYMANNEY Fashion|Textiles), Joel Gordon, Luis Rodriguez, Stan Fernald, Travis Putman, Melissa Miller, Bucky Miller (Miller Rustic Sawmill) and Adam Kittrell have been at multiple events and are pros, but it was the first time anyone worked with visually-impaired teams. If it wasn’t for the dedicated KSSB volunteers and staff, the competition wouldn’t have been possible. A round of applause to; Sheyvette Dinkens, Valerie House, Robin Berrey, Gwen Van Asselt, Ray Randall, Alexandra Troike, Aundrayah Shermer, Leah Enright , Shelby Erskine, Vicki Davis, Sara Bushland, Kelly Smith, Marites Altuna, Pam Arbeiter, Sue Pollan, Jeanne Goodin, Lori Smith, Christian Puett and Bob Taylor. We’re looking forward to heading back in June this year!

We’re honored to have worked with such an amazing group. These are some of the kindest and hardest-working creatives you’ll ever meet. This month some of these Tool Techs will be on hand to help teams win $10,000! To learn more about Nationals visit

74 views0 comments


bottom of page