By: Christian Provost and Leonard “Lenny” Vasbinder
Published March 8 2017
The NOLA Fab Lab is now open at the Delgado Community College City Park Campus. The Fab Lab is an advanced fabrication lab with a focus on K-12 STEM education to inspire the next generation of innovators, through hands-on learning and cutting edge technology. The Fab Lab was established through a partnership with the Fab Foundation and a $1-million-dollar donation made by Chevron. The Fab Lab is open to Delgado students, faculty and the community.
The Fab Lab aims to cultivate a passion for math, science and digital fabrication, while allowing visitors to collaborate, design, and create. The collaboration happens in a large open space that facilities group brainstorming and the exchange of ideas. The digital design lab features over 14 windows and Lenox-based computers that will let patrons create masterpieces through collaborative or singular efforts.
The Fab Lab boasts an impressive array of tools for maximum creativity without boundaries. There is a Laser cutter known as the Laser. The laser is high powered through optics to cut through a wide array of materials. A vinyl cutter is a machine that can cut letters and shapes into thin self-adhesive plastic, making it possible for users to make stickers. There is a 4×8 Router which is a computer numerical control used for cutting aluminum, steel, plastic and more. This piece equipment cuts material on a large scale. The last piece of equipment you will encounter is one of the most popular pieces of tech from the last few years, the 3D printer. 3D printers can print 3D sculptures based off of the design of your choosing.
The Fab Lab will hold workshops on set days for K-12 learners to get familiar with the lab. Delgado students have the option to come and learn the functions of the lab, the bonus of incorporating the skills learned at the Fab Lab into their studies. People from the community and business owners can use the lab to learn how to produce products for their business, without relying on mass production. The Fab Lab is willing to help entrepreneurs produce a product that can be presented for mass production.
The main goal of the Fab Lab will act as a hub for educators, creators, and students by providing them with the tools, equipment, and personal protective gear for performing safe and fun advances in math, science, and digital fabrication. Adults can earn a machine certification for adults to be able to operate the machinery with free reign. The Fab Lab will be hosting its first event, The Mini Maker Faire, on April 22 2017 in the Student Life center. The event allows engineers, artists, crafters and more to create and showcase their creations.