To provide our local and surrounding area with the machines, products, talent and services which will allow creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, community, and invention to thrive and grow. We strive to make innovation, learning, and a love of science and technology an everyday occurrence.
UNLEASH your creativity in a FAB LAB
Neil Gershenfeld’s TED Talk
What is a FAB LAB?
A fabrication laboratory is a place where anyone in the community can build, create, or invent and bring their projects to life in a supportive environment which encourages learning and experimenting, surrounded by creative, like-minded individuals.
The Fab Lab concept was started (and is perpetuated by) MIT. In 2007 Neil Gershenfeld started work on what he describes as the physical part of the digital revolution. He figured we were going through such a quantum shift in computing and electronics, that the physical aspects of the world needed to go through the same shift. He collected a bunch of high end electronics and tools, and started fabricating things in a unique way.
As he continued his experiments, he started teaching a class. “How to build (almost) anything”. He found that people using the tools were coming up with unique and novel ways of solving problems, and creating things for themselves, instead of creating things for selling to others.
Next, Dr. Gershenfeld decided to bring Fab Labs to other areas of the world. They set up shop in small villages in Africa, in towns in Greenland, in out of the way places, where tech and prototyping was foreign and the people, while very smart, lacked the level of education and training of Universities. The results were astounding! An 8 year old girl, having never even seen a computer before that morning, built (in less than 12 hours) an integrated circuit (which worked), with her own two hands. She would not let the team leave. They stayed in that shack until 11:30 pm, while she soldered components and tested the result. There was a drive and an intelligence in this girl which (I believe) was at the Genius level. When shown the circuit, Professors of computing at MIT said that they would not be able to do what she did in their labs, with all of their knowledge and training. This was around the point that the MIT Fab Lab concept was born.
Fab Labs are a trademark and a brainchild of MIT, and a Fab Lab is really a Maker Space which follows guidelines and practices set by MIT, in their “Center for Bits and Atoms”. To be a Fab Lab, you must meet certain criteria, and follow the Fab Lab Charter.