Tag Archives: Neil Gershenfeld

Fab Lab of the Week: Fox Valley Technical College in Wisconsin

FVTC Fab Lab 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.

Fab Lab of the Week: The Hardesty Center for Fab Lab Tulsa

Hardesty Center for Fab Lab Tulsa

This week’s featured Fab Lab is the Hardesty Center fo Fab Lab Tulsa in Oklahoma.

The Hardesty Center for Fab Lab Tulsa is a non-profit entity that has collaborated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to assemble a diverse collection of state-of-the-art equipment and computers into one workspace as a community center for innovation, entrepreneurship, and STEM education.

Originally conceived in 2008 and officially formed in July 2010, this 3600 square-foot facility is directly inspired by MIT Professor Neil Gershenfeld who invented the Fab Lab idea.

We enjoyed reading their blog post, 10 Things We Learned about starting a Fab Lab, including rules of thumb such as “no egos allowed”, “listen to your community”, and “raise friends before funds.”

Below is a video walkthrough of the Tulsa facility.

Neil Gershenfeld: The beckoning promise of personal fabrication [Video]

MIT Professor and personal fabrication expert Neil Gershenfeld talks about 3D printing and fab labs at the TED conference in 2007. His vision: how personal fabrication can allow you to make (almost) anything.