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Featured Member – Marty, Custom Cult Snowboards

Makerspace Classes He Teaches: ShopBot, Laser Cutter, Vinyl Cutter, 3D modeling, basics of the Woodshop, how to convert your artwork to bring it into CAD Program format. He also teaches project classes such as making a longboard, and in the new space can teach one-on-one snowboard making.

For Marty Bonnacci, FUSE Makerspace is the place where his favorite hobby and his career come together.

Marty has been a member of FUSE since it opened at Central New Mexico Community College in 2016. He owns a company called Custom Cult snowboards, selling custom-made boards to outdoor enthusiasts worldwide, but he was missing a couple important tools that would make his building process more efficient. When Marty found out that the FUSE Makerspace had a ShopBot CNC Router, he realized he’d found the perfect location to run his business.  

Marty started making snowboards over 20 years ago. He was looking for a snowboard that fit a larger shoe size and couldn’t find one. He discovered there was a need in the market for a snowboard that is built for larger feet. He's met quite a few folks along the way who could use a wider board or are looking for a fit to match their riding style.   

"There wasn't anyone doing it in a way that I felt matched the needs of the market. So I went and started making boards myself in '97. I started developing my custom board process then," he said.  

When Marty started Custom Cult Snowboards in 2015, he outsourced the production of his boards to a factory, but it wasn’t optimal. Marty began to consider what it would take for his company to manage its own production. Doing so would give him all the capabilities that he wanted for customization, but also save costs of outsourcing.

"I went looking for someone with a ShopBot and stumbled across FUSE Makerspace," he said.

Marty's production is highly dependent on the ShopBot CNC Router, a computer-controlled cutting machine that is used to cut out large items with precision. He's been using ShopBots for most of his snowboard making career, and has shared his expertise with other members at FUSE. He now teaches the ShopBot Operation and Safety classes for others who want to learn how to use the machine.  

ShopBots, however, are expensive pieces of machinery, and Marty wasn’t sure how to get one for himself. Working at FUSE allows him to access the equipment he needs to create custom boards, but reduce the overhead associated with buying his own ShopBot. This leaves him more capital for the rest of his business needs, like supplies and marketing He was also able to build a custom “board press” and store it at FUSE to accommodate his production process.

In addition to making snowboards, Marty has also spent some time developing software and recently graduated from CNM Ingenuity's Deep Dive Coding Bootcamp. During his time in the bootcamp, he developed an application that compliments his snowboard production. It allows the user to input in the specs of his or her custom snowboard and see a mockup of the board.  

Marty says he likes FUSE Makerspace because of the high caliber of equipment and the camaraderie created with other Makers.  

"It's not necessarily that we're all into the same thing, but we all like to make. We appreciate the Maker part of what we are showing each other."  
You can find out more about Marty's projects and custom boards at customcultsnowboards.com/  

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