Women showing off micro controllers

Tanda Headrick heard about FUSE before almost anyone else. She was consulted during the inception of the Makerspace on what collection of equipment would make a successful makerspace. Tanda was an obvious choice for this as she had been running Vanguard Technology Corporation here in Albuquerque since 1992. Vanguard has done work for many different industries over the years, including electromechanical design, firmware design, and other contract design services. One of her earliest products was the Select Four Custom Ring Decoder. The device routed different ringtones to different devices, effectively making a single phone line into four.  

Tanda has made things most of her life and has tried to pass that interest onto younger generations. She has partnered with the National Tooling and Machining Association in the past to get kids into machining through STEM activities. 

Tanda has also been involved with the worldwide making community over the past few years, traveling to conventions and meetups in the United States and London. She has also been active on many social media platforms. You can follow her and the projects she’s working on @tandamadison on Instagram. She also curates a blog, www.vanguard-tech.com/blog, where you can learn about her shop automation as well as her building a chicken coop and becoming a self-proclaimed “crazy chicken lady.”

At the beginning of the current pandemic, she helped by re-designing the popular Verkstan face shield headband, which is usually 3D printed, to be cut out using a water jet, allowing for faster production. The FUSE team then sanitized and packed them to be distributed to those in our local community that need them.

We asked Tanda why she comes to FUSE; she has her own shop in town, which FUSE was partially based on. In addition to access to equipment she did not have at her shop, she came to FUSE to connect with other makers. She said she always had an affinity for people who make and work with their hands.

Tanda is a huge part of the FUSE Makerspace community. She has been an instructor and taught many members how to use both the mill and the lathe. Tanda has proven to be an invaluable resource to members who were ambitious with projects and became stumped, and she is also always ready with a pertinent story or joke for whatever our members are working on. If you happen to be in the space at the same as Tanda says hello, you’ll be better for it.