Want to make something amazing?

Dayton Local Staff
last updated 03/31/2015
Want to make something amazing?

Willy Wonka's factory meets Build-a-Bear - Proto BuildBar is a new downtown space where customers can try their hand at 3-D printing.

Want to make something amazing?

Chris Wire can’t shake the good vibe of downtown Dayton.

“There’s something attractive about downtown,” Wire said, “It’s just got the right vibe for a business like mine.”

Wire – who is president of the successful Real Art Design Group – sips a cup of coffee as he sits at the bar of his newest venture, Proto BuildBar, a new downtown space where customers can try their hand at 3-D printing. Miniature robots, buildings, and statues of patrons already adorn its walls. The bar sports technology most commonly used by manufacturers, but Wire wants the everyman to give it a try.

“There aren’t many maker spaces, in this sense, like us,” Wire said.

And indeed, it’s caught on in the weeks since it opened, with the bar sporting plenty of groups and getaways, from creatives to business groups and curious customers, the bar evokes a lot of curiosity. Wire says that’s what it’s all about. And Dayton is the right place to start it.

“We hear about people in other cities asking for something like this,” Wire said, “It’s great.”

The bar is set up with a lineup of small 3-D printers which can build pre-set objects or create something entirely designed by the maker.  Some jobs are smaller and inexpensive, while others – such as an elaborate, hot-pink replica of the Eiffel Tower overlooking the work benches – can take many hours.

Wire is no stranger to eccentric spaces – his next door Real Art studio sports some of the most interesting interior design in town. But for all of the interest it generates, he says the hope is that such places as this will build downtown.

“This close to the Cannery and the Ballpark, and so many buildings downtown that are being sort of re-invented, it’s cool we built something that really gets people curious,” Wire said. 

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