How Industrial Machines Merge Creativity with Engineering and Inspire the Next Generation of Makers

Bre Pettis, Founder and CEO of Bantam Tools

Love the episode? Leave a review on your favorite podcast platform!


There is so much overlap between art and much creativity that goes into the making of things. Bre Pettis knows this firsthand. As a puppeteer-turned teacher-turned entrepreneur, Bre founded MakerBot and helped democratize 3D printing, making it accessible for Fab Labs and MakerSpaces all over the country.

Today, Bre is at it again with Bantam Tools, a manufacturer of desktop CNC machines that are inspiring and equipping today's industrial innovators and tomorrow's inventors.

In this episode, Bre is sharing all his experiences in the world of STEAM and innovation with our audience. Learn about the origins of MakerBot and Bantam Tools. Discover why students need access to the tools that can help them bring ideas to reality. And learn why having industry-grade machines in classrooms helps bridge the gap from education to the workforce.

3 Big Takeaways from this episode:

  1. Let's take huge, difficult machinery and make it accessible, friendly and affordable for students: This is how we equip students for today's high-tech workforce. Bre is on a mission to remove the barriers that keep students from being able to design and create what's in their mind. With the right tools and resources (like 3D printers, desktop CNC machines and even pen plotters!) students can get the introductory skills that translate into real careers.
  2. There is unique value in both additive & subtractive manufacturing: Now that most students have access to 3D printing, it's time to bring subtractive manufacturing back into the classroom. Both technologies have a unique use case that students should identify and explore. Bre talks about when to use which technology, and the real benefit of letting a student experience the creative process from ideation to finished part.
  3. Students find their "aha" moments in technical education: From Fab Labs to Makerspaces to STEAM classrooms and Tech Ed labs, students discover new aptitudes and a love for making when they're given the right set of tools and resources. Bre shares how schools can help identify the right teachers to lead these endeavors, unlocking new potential for both the students and the educators.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

To learn more about Bantam Tools, visit their website:

Interested in the NEW Bantam Tools desktop CNC milling machine powered by FANUC? Visit this page to learn more.

Connect with Bantam Tools online:

Instagram  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  YouTube  |  LinkedIn

What our listeners are saying

The #1 podcast in TechEd

This podcast is a great resource to keep up with all the exciting changes in the world of manufacturing and technology. Get key insight from industry leaders from the Midwest and around the globe that you won’t find anywhere else. A must listen for anyone interested in how technology is changing the way businesses operate.

The pulse of Industry 4.0

This podcast has its fingers on the pulse of Industry 4.0, and Matt K. is a phenomenal guide, traversing the complexities of manufacturing and education in one forum. A+ work all around!


I find Matt's approach to be very compelling. He brings both perspectives, industry AND education. He doesn't hold back on what he thinks is important...

New and Exciting Content With Every Episode

I really enjoy listening to this podcast when I'm driving or have a free moment. Each episode brings a new guest with a fresh and exciting perspective of both education and the workforce!

I needed this podcast back when I was in High School!

Such great content that deserves more attention at all level of education. I wish I heard some of these episodes when I was navigating my own career path. Incredible guests, with incredible messages to share. Keep up the great work!

Inspiring topics featuring inspiring leaders

I’ve listened to most of your weekly podcasts and enjoy listening to the stories and conversations that feature business and education leaders from Wisconsin. Kudos to you for creating a platform that presents ideas and success stories that are important to Career and Technical Education teachers and leaders.

Best Career and TechEd Podcast

There are a lot of education podcasts out there. This is the only one that really focuses on bringing together voices from inside AND outside education and focuses specifically on STEM and Career/Tech Ed. This is a great podcast for anyone in education and also for anyone who employs STEM or skilled-trades talent in their workforce.

Filling in Gaps

This show spotlights a large and growing aspect of education that doesn’t get enough attention. Practical and technical education is a field growing exponentially. This podcast Highlights many of the facets of this diverse field.

Fantastic Topics on the Future of Industry

These podcasts are the best for learning about current and future technology. The stories are great. We need more of these interviews.

Become a Subscriber

Subscribe & leave a review on your favorite podcast platform