Three years ago, Jonathan Moneta merged his background in theatre and his interest in technology to launch MakeLab, which puts professional tech equipment into the hands of amateurs, for fun, interactive pop-up experiences.
“I was interested in innovative ways you could engage people with technology,” says Moneta.
So, he and a group of designers and technologists took eight 3D printers to a Toronto bar and taught design to the patrons. Pretty innovative. “We loved how the more inebriated people would get the more beautiful their designs would get,” he says.
Moneta and his team bought up more equipment, including laser cutters and a digital graffiti wall, and branched out into museums, art galleries, festivals, trade shows – anywhere they could haul their highly technical equipment and plunk it down in front of an untrained but eager crowd.
Rogers Business Forum asked him to shed some light on some of MakeLab’s key tech and gadgets.
The laser cutter
One of the more popular features of MakeLab’s pop-up studio is the edible selfie booth. The team takes a photo of participants and laser-caramelizes that picture onto a macaron, to eat or not to eat. Or they let the guests design an image themselves and the team lasers it onto a surface, such as a water bottle, book – or cookie. Moneta utilizes two laser cutters, at $30,000 a pop, but prefers to keep the brand name under wraps.