Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Future Fabrication Lab

Thinking about building a few fabrication labs in our schools.  A fabrication lab is a small-scale workshop offering digital fabrication.  Activities in fabrication labs range from technological empowerment to peer-to-peer project-based technical training to local problem-solving to small-scale high-tech business incubation to grass-roots research (  There is not a set list of tools, but generally fabrication labs contain the following resources:

  • CNC Machine
  • 3D Printers
  • Laser Cutter, Vinyl Cutter
  • Milling Machine
  • Programming Tools
 I have been collecting resources related to fabrication labs and in particular the use of 3D printing.  Below are some resources I have archived related to building a fab lab.  Offer this to others who are exploring a similar objective and even to those who are further along the process and can offer feedback.

1. Transformative Learning Technologies Lab (Stanford)-  overview of what is a fab lab and shares information about FabLab@school, a partnerships between the university and schools.

2. Southview Middle School Gets Grip On Design With Dimension 3D Printing- highlights the experiences of 8th graders using 3D printers during the design process

3. Nike Debuts World's First Football Cleat Built Using 3D Printing- As a world's first, Nike introduces its next wave of football cleat innovation at the 2013 NFL Combine: new Nike Vapor Laser Talon, the first football cleat to use 3D printing technology.

The contoured plate of the cleat is fabricated on a 3D printer with Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology. The SLS process uses high-powered lasers to fuse small particles of materials into a 3-dimentional shape, allowing Nike to prototype a fully functional plate and traction system which is impossible with traditional manufacturing methods. In addition this also allows designers to update the design within hours instead of months.  

4. The Case for Campus Makerspace (Watters)- author makes a case for establishing makerspaces on college campuses

This is a very long-winded introduction to my case for the campus makerspace. It's a case that invokes some of the educational practices that we know work well: small group discussion, collaboration, participatory, project-based, and peer-to-peer learning, experimentation, inquiry, curiosity, play. These practices, their values as we help students learn to build and make their own knowledge.

5.  Wired's Chris Anderson: Today's 'Maker Movement' Is The New Industrial Revolution- Chris Anderson talks about his new book and the importance of the maker movement
“The real revolution here is not in the creation of the technology, but the democratization of the technology. It’s when you basically give it to a huge expanded group of people who come up with new applications, and you harness the ideas and the creativity and the energy of everybody. That’s what really makes a revolution…What we’re seeing here with the third industrial revolution is the combination of the two [technology and manufacturing]. It’s the computer meets manufacturing, and it’s at everybody’s desktop.”

 6. Why I Love My 3D Printer

7. Scott Summit- The Future of 3D Printing


Peter Grimm, an industrial technology teacher at Southview Middle School in Edina, Minn., has challenged his eighth-grade pre-engineering students to find a solution for this messy problem. And the Dimension the uPrint® Personal 3D Printer is helping students find creative answers. - See more at: