Texas Inventionworks is equipped with a variety of machines and tools that range from the simple to powerful. They generally work with plastics, wood and soft metals (aluminum, copper, brass), with specialized equipment that can handle steels. We also stock a supply of raw materials and sheet goods that you can purchase from us at cost, or you are welcome to bring your own materials for certain machines (your own materials will need to be approved for our equipment before use).

We encourage you to come talk to us about what you are trying to create so we can help point you to the appropriate equipment. Training is provided for all equipment, tools and printing materials.

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Sampling of Machines and Tools

In addition to the list below, we also have industrial sewing machines, an embroidery machine, scroll saw, band saw, drill press and an assortment of hand tools.

Filament 3D Printers (Craftbot XL)

These 3D printers (Craftbot XL and Flashforge) are an easy-to-use method for producing 3D objects. You provide a 3D computer model and in minutes you can starting printing an object. Both of our models of printers are fused deposition systems that work by depositing successive layers of either ABS or PLA polymers. You can make anything from simple parts such as mobile phone covers to complex mechanical devices.

Various Other 3D Printers

Texas Inventionworks also has SLA (liquid-based, high resolution), SLS (powder-based, tough material) and Metal 3D printers.

Laser Cutters (Full Spectrum)

These laser cutters (full spectrum) can cut 2D complex shapes out of cardboard, wood or plastic sheets or plates in a matter of minutes. Also, they can also engrave designs into sheets and plates and can even be used to make some 3D shapes. The following video gives an idea of what you can do with laser cutters: youtube.com/watch?v=QuE1LvsVWXY

CNC Milling Machines (Milltronics and Tormach PCNC 1100)

CNC Milling Machines will let you make complex 3D parts out of metal, wood, plastic and even ceramic. You design your part using CAD software and then use CAM software to generate the commands to make your parts with high precision. This CNC also includes a 4th axis so you can make complex cylindrical parts. Watch the following videos to learn more: youtube.com/watch?v=LwexPhA1ZBc | youtube.com/watch?v=kA-IeehdbsE | youtube.com/watch?v=PLLF-6VBaZM

Manual Mills and Manual Lathes

Mills and lathes are used to cut precise parts out of metals and plastic.

Desktop CNC Machines (Othermills)

The Othermills is a small and powerful printed circuit board (PCB) prototyping machine. Starting with standard circuit design software you can manufacture a PCB in tens of minutes.

VirtualBench (National Instruments)

The Virtual Bench (National Instruments) is five instruments in one: a Mixed-Signal oscilloscope, a digital multimeter, a function generator, a programmable DC power supply and a digital I/O. Video: youtube.com/watch?v=7ubhE6x6aVE

myRIO

The myRIO is a device that lets you make "real engineering in one semester." You can acquire signals and use it for control for robotic, mechatronics, machines and process projects. Videos: youtube.com/watch?v=DLMs5U7iKpE | youtube.com/watch?v=GuCRifmNOjo