RCBI makerspace wins national prize

HUNTINGTON — The Robert C. Byrd Institute’s innovative makerspace won a national award from Bernzomatic, the leader in handheld torches.

As a finalist in the Bernzomatic Find Your Fire Community Grants program, RCBI will receive $1,500 and $500 in Bernzomatic products for the Institute’s makerspace, dubbed the Maker Vault.

“Bernzomatic products have been used in the Maker Vault since it opened. Having additional Bernzomatic resources will provide more creative options for our users,” said Jamie Cope, deputy director of RCBI. “The makerspace improvements will allow for a wider range of work to be completed. This is a real win for our making community that supported us through this contest.”

The Maker Vault focuses on making, creating, learning and exploring. Housed in a former vault – a holdover from the days when the Huntington building was home to a bank – it is stocked with tools and technology that includes an X-Carve CNC router, 3D printers, a vacuum form mold and a vinyl cutter.

Inventors, entrepreneurs and students routinely use the tools available in the Maker Vault to make new products and other items.

The Bernzomatic Find Your Fire Community Grants program celebrates the creativity and curiosity of makers all across the country who want to use their talents to make a difference.

Founded in 1876, Bernzomatic is the leader in the blowtorch category. Bernzomatic products include handheld torches, fuel cylinders, butane lighters and project accessories that can be used on the job site, in the home and in the hands of those with a desire to create.