Studio H visits FabLab in Durham
Yesterday, we were some of the lucky few who got to hang out at (and use!) the FabLab mobile fabrication trailer, which was parked at Durham’s American Tobacco Campus. The FabLab started at MIT, and now is comprised of over 50 trailers worldwide, outfitted with some of the most cutting-edge rapid prototyping and fabrication equipment available. The FabLab yesterday had 2 CNC overhead routers from Durham-based ShopBot, a laser cutter, a vinyl cutter, and much much more.
We invited our students to make the trek out to Durham with us, and Jamesha, Colin, Erick, and Kerron joined us. After a brief tutorial from Tushar and his team from FabLab, Matt and I got to work, taking advantage of the opportunity to fabricate models and stencils for the farmers market vendor stalls and “Windsor Super Market” branding signs. For this, we used the FabLab 2-d and 3-d freeware to draft profiles of a proposed vendor stall, as well as exporting our existing artwork as .svg files in order to print stencils on the laser cutter. Students were more intrigued by the robotics, learning how to solder and activate small motors (they each ended up with a vibrating-toothbrush-head-creature). More than anything (and despite a few software glitches), we’re huge fans of the FabLab for making building and high-tech production accessible to all. Throughout the afternoon, dozens of passers-by wandered up to the trailer asking what the heck was going on, and wanting to make their own widgets. Matt and I are both (obviously) huge proponents of the power of building and creation, and the FabLabbers are certainly kindred spirits in their love of making. A huge thank you goes out to Tushar and his team for inviting us to use their facilities and explore new kinds of production!