The Fab Lab at Apple Valley High School collaborates with community partners to encourage problem solving and invention for all to translate ideas into reality utilizing guided access to digital fabrication tools and techniques.
“A Fab Lab (fabrication laboratory) is a fully-kitted fabrication workshop which gives everyone in the community, from small children through to entrepreneurs and businesses, the capability to turn their ideas and concepts into reality.” (Neil Gershenfeld, MIT)*
A Fab Lab is a community inventors’ workshop offering digital fabrication on a personal scale, in which new products can be built by both businesses and individuals.
The Fab Lab program was started in the Media Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a collaboration between the Grassroots Invention Group and the Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), broadly exploring how a community can be powered by technology at the grassroots level. The fab lab concept also grew out of a popular class at MIT named “How To Make (Almost) Anything.” Here is a TED talk by Professor Neil Gershenfeld that explains about his original Fab Lab vision.
“These labs form part of a larger “maker movement” of high-tech do-it-yourselfers, who are democratizing access to the modern means to make things.”*
Fab labs have spread from inner-city Boston to rural India, from South Africa to the north of Norway. Activities in fab 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. Projects being developed and produced in fab labs include solar and wind-powered turbines, thin-client computers and wireless data networks, analytical instrumentation for agriculture and healthcare, custom housing, and rapid-prototyping of rapid-prototyping machines.**
“The ability to send data across the world and then locally produce products on demand has revolutionary implications for industry.”*
Fab labs share core capabilities, so that people and projects can be shared across them. In order to become part of the Fab Lab Network, new labs must assemble the required hardware and software inventory and accept the Fab Lab Charter.