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February 20, 2024 Fab-in-a-Box

The Fab Foundation announces the launch of a low-cost, high-impact, digital fabrication kit for education: Fab-in-a-Box.

Boston, MA — The 21st-century workforce needs to be flexible, agile, and digitally literate in order to participate fully in the rapidly evolving technology economy. Access to the tools and knowledge of digital technologies is critical to developing those skills. The ability to use digital fabrication tools, combined with digital design and computer programming, is essential to the future of work. But, historically, these tools have been prohibitively expensive and inaccessible to most students and educators.

With that particular concern in mind, the Fab Foundation, a leading advocate for digital fabrication education and innovation across the globe, is excited to announce the launch of a new project in collaboration with MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) and supported by Dassault Systèmes and La Fondation Dassault Systèmes: Fab-in-a-Box—a low-cost, high-impact, digital fabrication kit for education. This compact Fab Lab starter kit is designed to reduce barriers to adoption for digital fabrication in classrooms and informal education settings, such as museums and libraries. It does this by lowering the price point to entry while providing a truly turnkey solution. Everything that’s needed to get started arrives on a single, mobile cart.

fab foundation fab-in-a-box

The cart comes equipped with a commercial laser cutter, 3D printer, and vinyl cutter, as well as an electronics kit to help learners actuate their creations—all for less than $10,000.

Implementation guides are also included, along with a collection of scalable, easy-to-follow activities that teach educators and students how to use the machines. These are designed to be inviting, never intimidating.

Over the coming year, the Fab Foundation will pilot an initial set of kits in schools, libraries, and community centers across the US. Learning activities, instructor guides, and online resources are currently being developed to support the project-based learning curriculum. The project’s next iteration will take a less off-the-shelf approach, leveraging cutting-edge research from CBA to create a kit of fabricable parts that can themselves be configured into digital fabrication machines. These will, in turn, enable the fabrication and construction of additional smaller, simpler machines; in other words, this is a kit of machines that can make more and different fabrication machines.

Read the full press release here: https://fabfoundation.org/media/fab_in_a_box


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