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Thursday April 2, 2015

This story is the fourth in a series of posts called “FAB Lab Fun”.  FAB Labs, or Fabrication Laboratories, are defined as a global network of local labs, enabling invention by providing access to tools for digital fabrication and are most often offered as a community resource. Discover the hands-on experience of taking a FAB Lab class through staff member, Beth Stinnett. We hope you enjoy going with her along for the ride.

I couldn’t wait to get back to the lab this week to complete my etching project created the week before. If you don’t remember, last week my classmates and I are were to create a design that we wished to have etched onto a 5x7 piece of glass. I choose to create a “World’s Best Nana” award to present to my mother. After choosing the perfect art and font for my idea, it was ready to be printed with the Fab Lab’s laser cutter. The little award made me feel like a child again; in a good way! I suddenly felt the pride of a grade school student, who couldn’t wait to rush home and show their parents what they had created!

Using the same laser cutter, but with a different medium, wood, is what this week’s class was focused on. Though the design side of these projects are fun, it’s the technology behind the machinery that is what’s so fascinating. The laser cutter is connected to a computer just like a regular printer is connected to your desktop computer. Laser cutters can create designs with wood, acrylic, plastic, fabric and other non-metallic materials by using lasers to create detailed cuts and complex designs.

I will admit it took me a while to come up with what I wished to create for this because there are so many great ideas and examples to choose from. With websites such as thingiverse.com and yeggi.com for examples and software such as Autodesk 123D Make (free to download) to personalize projects, you can create a true masterpiece! A fellow classmate quickly decided on creating a wooden trinket box, which turned out great. Wondering what I designed? Check back next week to see!





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