Say you are a bicyclist who needs a console to mount a GPS to your bike’s handlebars, but don’t have the money, or equipment to produce a prototype of your invention. If you are innovative by nature, want to experiment transforming your ideas into making a product, a Fab Lab may be your Mecca. A Fab Lab or Fabrication Laboratory is a place where ideas come to life.
Although work in the fab lab entails using computers and computer-guided machinery, McGrath says the end result is a physical product, not merely a digital construction that ceases to exist when the lights are out. Given its mission to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) literacy through cross-disciplinary collaboration and innovation, the Faulhaber Fab Lab gives community members access to high-tech tools and materials as well as several high grade, industrial design and production equipment with simple design interface. The lab is equipped with CNC machines, manual metal cutting lathes, vinyl cutter, embroidery machines, CNC routers, soldering stations, and plasma cutters that enable users of all ages to make a number of products that range from plaques, puzzles, 3D portraits, gaskets, camera adaptors, or anything else they can think of.
For information on the Fab Lab at the Sarasota based GWIZ Science Museum contact Eric McGrath at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.gwiz.org. For information on FLATE’s STEM initiatives visit www.fl-ate.org and www.madeinflorida.org, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at email@example.com.