How to Make Almost Anything
The Fab Academy is a Digital Fabrication Program directed by Neil Gershenfeld of MIT's Center For Bits and Atoms (CBA) and based on MIT's rapid prototyping course, MAS 863: How to Make (Almost) Anything. The Fab Academy began as an outreach project from the CBA, and has since spread to Fab Labs around the world. The program provides advanced digital fabrication instruction for students through an unique, hands-on curriculum and access to technological tools and resources.
2014 will mark the fifth year that AS220 has collaborated with MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms in offering the Providence Fab Academy. collaborated with MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms in offering the Providence Fab Academy. The Providence Fab Academy session will be held at AS220 Labs. See the class schedule for more detail.
Learn to Turn CODES into THINGS
At the Fab Academy, you will learn how to envision, prototype and document your ideas through many hours of hands-on experience with digital fabrication tools. We take a variety of code formats and turn them into physical objects.
AS220 Labs Digital Fabrication Equipment includes:
- Shopbot PRSstandard 96×48
- Roland Camm-1 GX-24 Vinyl Cutter - This machine cuts adhesive vinyl, which you can use to make stickers, professional signage, or masks and stencils for screen printing and painting. We also use the vinyl cutter to cut copper tape for flexible circuit boards.
- Epilog Legend Mini 24 Laser Cutter - This machine can etch or print on surfaces and cut all types of materials up to ¼” thick: wood, plastic, clothing, cardboard, and more.
- MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer
- MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D Printer
- MakerBot Cupcake CNC 3D Printer
- Vacuum Former
- Roland Modela MDX-20 Milling Machine - We enlist this CNC machine to transform copper clad PCB stock into circuit boards and to create wax molds for casting.
- Multiple computer stations
- Electronics workstation.
Fab Academy Diploma
The Fab Academy Diploma consists of a 5 month part-time student commitment. The Fab Diploma is the result of the sum of Fab Academy Certificates (listed under the schedule below). Progress towards the diploma is evaluated by a student's acquired skills and documented projects rather than time or credits.
How It Works
Our lab in Providence is part of a Global Fab Academy network. The Providence branch of the Fab Academy works with other participating Fab Labs and experts from around the wold via a distributed educational model where we pool our knowledge to provide a unique educational experience.
We view and participate in global lectures broadcast from MIT. The lectures are recorded and available to students throughout the semester. In addition to the lectures, there are two lab days each week where students have access the digital fabrication equipment and personal help with projects. See the class schedule for more detail.
What You Learn
The Fab Academy is a fast paced, hands-on learning experience where students plan and execute a new project each week. Each individual documents their progress for each project, resulting in a personal portfolio of technical accomplishments.
Students at the Fab Academy learn:
- how to use our lab's digital fabrication tools for rapid prototyping
- electronics design and production by producing circuit boards using a variety of sensors and output devices.
- how to program AVR microcontrollers on the boards they have produced
- molding and casting
- 3D scanning and printing
- how create interconnected systems (while creating a final project.)
- see the class schedule for more detail.
Who Can Join?
We welcome motivated, self-directed learners of any technical skill level - from complete beginner to advanced. We have had students of all types: artists, high school students, graduate students, engineers, computer scientists and professionals of all fields.