Tag Archives: Wisconsin

Fab Lab of the Week: Milwaukee Makerspace Adopts 3D Printing

Milwaukee Makerspace Grand Opening

Milwaukee Makerspace is part social club, part hackerspace. They held their grand opening party in April 2011 and have been growing ever since.

At its heart, [Milwaukee Makerspace] is a social club for people who like to build, invent, tinker and/or collect new skills and expand their minds. We have a wide range of skill sets in our membership and you’re likely to find someone who can talk about most any technical concept with you in a meaningful way. We are also a physical space where you can come, 24/7 as a full member, and have access to wide array of equipment you are not very likely to have at home. Plus, there are folks around the space that can give you tips and pointers on operating that equipment effectively. (About page)

The space is home to a variety of equipment and tools, from woodworking to electronics to robotics to metal working to photography. Unfortunately, their only 3D printing equipment, a MakerBot CupCake is not currently in the shop. But it looks like this is about to change.

In May, some members came together to showcase 3 different 3D printers: a MakerGear Prusa Mendel, a MakerGear Mosaic, and a Printrbot.

Milwaukee Makerspace 3D Printing

In June, they are expecting a visit from MakerBot to “show off their Replicator and talk about 3D printing.”

And in July, the Makerspace is hosting a 3D printing meetup:

3D Printing is getting more and more popular, and we’ve got a bunch of members who have built printers, or are building printers, or just know a heck of a lot about 3D Printing, so we figured we should meet up and discuss the topic.

So if you’ve ever wondered what in the world a MakerBot was, or heard of RepRap or Printrbot, or just wanted to see an actual 3D Printer laying down molten plastic to make a real-world object, well… we’ve got just the ticket.

We’re excited to see the Milwaukee Makerspace adopt 3D printing!

Want to learn more? Watch the video below to hear from the founding members of Milwaukee Makerspace.

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.