Fab Lab of the Week: Fox Valley Technical College in Wisconsin
This week’s featured Fab Lab is at the Fox Valley Technical College in Wisconsin.
The FAB LAB (Fabrication Laboratory) is a unique Learning Center that enhances student classes and provides for an outreach program in the Fox Valley. Local schools join the fab lab in creating and constructing projects that relate to their curriculum and learn science, technology, engineering and math along the way. FAB LAB’s give students the opportunity to connect and collaborate with other fab labs around the world.
The FAB LAB concept was created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Dr. Neil Gershenfeld and documented in his book “FAB: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop.” In the summer of 2007, the FAB LAB at FVTC became the 17th in the world.
The FVTC FAB LAB team researched Gershenfeld’s work at the Center for Bits and Atoms at MITand began planning how to set up a FAB LAB at the college. In 2005, the team developed a customized approach to adapting the FAB LAB concept for FVTC, which included global consultation and digital fabrication technology to create almost anything.
Thanks to the partnership with MIT, FVTC FAB LAB users have the ability to link with students and experts worldwide via Web video access to Norway, South Africa, India, Barcelona and other locations. Other partners also include Century College in Minnesota and Loraine County Community College near Cleveland. Inventors, students and businesses can share knowledge to collectively learn from successes and failures.
There is a critical need for Wisconsin manufacturers to become more innovative, efficient, and flexible and future employees will need the knowledge of digital fabrication, the FVTC FAB LAB is taking a leadership role in innovation. Our future economy in Wisconsin and beyond depends on leveraging the power and innovation of leading-edge technologies found in the FVTC FAB LAB. Wisconsin is home to 24 statewide manufacturing driver industries, many of which depend on some form of fabrication (per Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership-WMEP research).
This Fab Lab hosts an Alaris Objet 30 and Stratasys 3D printer, among other equipment.
You can see the FVTC Fab Lab in the video below.