Martinsville, Virginia


Fab Lab Fun: Week 3

This story is the third 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.

With my first project under my belt and time ticking along, week 3 in How To Make Almost Anything! began. This week’s focus was on a new software program called Inkscape. To get the class and the night’s project started, Fab Lab Coordinator, Matthew Wade, began by explaining the differences and similarities of Raster and Vector images. For those who don’t know the main differences in the two, raster images are made up of a bunch of colored dots and vector images have a line behind them showing points and curvature. When raster images are enlarged, they appear blurred but vector images do not pixelate. The Inkscape software we used is a vector program. My classmates and I navigated our way around the ins and outs of the program before being assigned to create a design that we would like to have etched onto a piece of glass.

Working in the design program itself was easy enough, but for me I couldn’t decide what I wanted my etching to be. After creating my second picture, with a pitiful attempt at free-handing the letters, I decided that I would be happier trying a third time, using the text box tool! What immediately came to mind for me, was a “World’s Best Nana” award for my children to give to my mom. It may not be too exciting, but I love “handmade” gifts or in this case, “handmade designed/machine created” gift! My project will be etched out next week and I hope that my mom enjoys it!

My classmate, a Star Trek fan, created the etching pictured to the right.

Your imagination is the limit when it comes to what you will make because at the FAB Lab you are truly taught how to make almost anything!

To read FAB Lab Fun: Week 1, click here. To read FAB Lab Fun: Week 2, click here.

To learn more about upcoming classes at the FAB Lab, visit