Sat | Oct 31, 2020

Love affair with engineering and auto

Published:Sunday | December 8, 2019 | 12:00 AMKhanique McDaniel - Contributor
Andre Craig (left) and Mark Newman, owners of Fab Worx, operate a three-axis computer numerical control milling machine.
Mark Newman and Andre Craig
A 3D printer on display at Fab Worx.
A turbocharger on display at Fab Worx

In 2016, Mark Newman began making minor improvements to his 1996 Honda Ek4 SIR Civic. In his spare time, he experimented with the designing and building of parts for the exhaust and suspension.

“I started asking my friends to test drive the Civic and give me their feedback. Each time, they would comment on how much faster the car got and that I must be doing something right,” said the 31-year-old owner of Fab Worx Jamaica – a metal fabrication company that has since developed into an engineering solutions provider.

Fast-forward to 2019, when the energy engineer, employed in the public sector, has partnered with one of his former students from the University of Technology, Jamaica, Adrian Craig, to develop engineered products and solutions for those looking for a custom build.

A ‘tinkerer’ is how Newman describes himself.

He recalls disassembling things as a child to find out how they worked. His auto journey, however, started at age 10, when he would accompany his auto enthusiast dad to the mechanic. From there, he found himself wanting to learn the craft. At 18 years old, Newman was a full-time mechanic at Bull Speed Auto, but he found that to be a clash with his studies. This saw him putting his passion on hold to pursue an engineering degree. Upon finishing, he mixed his love for engineering and auto to form a local and international network of welders and engineers who develop and design car parts, as well as reverse engineering broken parts.

“My brain eats itself if I stop learning,” said Newman, who now attends the Caribbean Maritime University, where he is pursuing an international Festo certificate in mechatronics, the combination of electronics and mechanical engineering.

“I am also a master welder,” shared the business.

Among Fab Worx arsenal of equipment is an industrial computer numerical control milling machine. They also offer 3D printing services, porting, the designing of motor sports components and turbo modifications.

They are currently testing a ceramic-coated piston with the aim of reducing the temperature inside the cylinder chamber so as to it give the vehicle more power. This is being tested in the car Newman uses for his daily commute, and he hopes to have this service available to the public once he has collected and analysed the data.

Newman and Craig seek to slowly build a name for the company as not only a supplier of auto products but the team you consult to optimise your vehicle from start to finish.

No challenge is too big for the team, who have mixed their passion and formal education to create a one-stop shop for fabrication and modification.