Charles R. Goulding and Preeti Sulibhavi reflect on Maker Faire 2023, hosted by Watsco in Miami, Florida.
Watsco is celebrating innovation. From April 15th – 16th, 2023, Watsco sponsored the Maker Faire in Miami to showcase the top talent in the industry.
There is a strategy here. For Watsco, this event is also about inspiring and recruiting the best and brightest talent to work in the HVAC industry. By highlighting the latest advancements in the field, Watsco hopes to attract a diverse group of individuals who are passionate about using technology to solve real-world problems.
Maker Faire in Miami
Maker Faire is an event highlighting the Maker Movement, which represents a technology-based extension of the DIY culture at the intersections of hacker culture, new device fabrication and tinkering with existing technology.
Maker Faire is where anyone from a garage tinkerer to a scientist, to avid tech enthusiasts go to share what they have learned in a community built on “curiosity, collaboration and resourcefulness.”
Watsco’s sponsorship of Maker Faire Miami is a shining example of its ongoing efforts to foster a culture of innovation and collaboration while inspiring the next generation of HVAC professionals.
The event is both educational and fun for participants and exhibitors.
Watsco and 3D Printing
In 2022, Watsco spent more than US$46M on a range of digital technology upgrades, including e-commerce and mobile commerce, among other transformative technologies. In 2021, Watsco’s e-commerce sales approached US$2B. This is not a company to overlook, especially in terms of R&D and technology.
HVAC and 3D Printing
There are a myriad of ways in which 3D printers can help the HVAC industry fabricate high-quality, affordable HVAC components. Whether it is an HVAC duct, vent, heating and cooling system, or accessories, 3D printing technology can help companies produce tested designs and fuel HVAC innovation.
With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), there is a whole host of clean energy incentives available to companies integrating newer, more sustainable and eco-friendly HVAC systems among other upgrades.
Miami and 3D printing
Miami is known for its beaches and unique cultural landscape. What might be less known is that is a site for both domestic and foreign investments.
As we have previously written:
The investment of firms like Blackstone, Icahn Enterprises and Goldman Sachs in Miami business has helped build a “multinational base of banking, …, technology, … and aerospace disruptors and innovators” which reside in the city. Tech companies like Spotify, Gopuff, TransUnion and many others, all have a presence in Miami. Other companies, such as REEF Technology and MoonPay are headquartered in Miami. This only displays a small slice of the immense technological innovation and investment found in Miami.
The 3D printing industry is not an exception. Apis Cor, an American company known for constructing the largest 3D printed building in the world, has teamed up with SMASH, “a community land trust for housing justice”, to work on 3D printing affordable housing within Miami-Dade county.
The fact that Maker Faire was in Miami is not a coincidence but a strategic decision to advance the industry and share innovative ideas in a town where technology is growing.
The Research & Development Tax Credit
The now permanent Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit is available for companies developing new or improved products, processes and/or software.
3D printing can help boost a company’s R&D Tax Credits. Wages for technical employees creating, testing and revising 3D printed prototypes can be included as a percentage of eligible time spent for the R&D Tax Credit. Similarly, when used as a method of improving a process, time spent integrating 3D printing hardware and software counts as an eligible activity. Lastly, when used for modeling and preproduction, the costs of filaments consumed during the development process may also be recovered.
Whether it is used for creating and testing prototypes or for final production, 3D printing is a great indicator that R&D Credit eligible activities are taking place. Companies implementing this technology at any point should consider taking advantage of R&D Tax Credits.
Maker Faire is a prime example of how advancing technology benefits everyone. With Watsco sponsoring the event in Miami, it was a successful way to share innovative ideas and help the HVAC community grow. 3D printing can definitely play a role in this movement.