Basic Fab Academy Course Info

Weekly Schedule and Topics Covered

This is subject to change every year: please check your current year in the Fab Academy Archive

Class Meeting Times

Global lectures happen on Wednesdays at 9:00 AM EST (ranging from 6:00 on the West Coast to 23:00 in Japan) and last for approximately 3 hours. Recitations will be held on Mondays 9:00 AM EST, and regional reviews on Tuesday.

Refer to the current schedule for detailed information.

Local Instructors and Gurus are also required to attend the weekly prep meeting on Wednesdays 8:30 AM EST, 30 minutes before the start of class.

Weekly Regional Reviews / Help Sessions

Homework review sessions led by Mentors / Gurus will be staggered according to global time. Exact time will be confirmed by the Mentors leading them.

All sessions take place via conferencing system, using Bluejeans. More information on this in the section below entitled "Video Conferencing".

Due to the limited number of conference connections, students must go to their lab to participate in classes and reviews, with their local working group.

Students: Basic Course Requirements

Student Time Commitment

The time commitment is about 16+ hours a week at minimum, but could be far greater if the student is highly motivated, does not possess the background in these topics or just wants to really throw themselves into the program.

Students with no prior experience in digital fabrication, 3D design, electronics and programing, should consider a time commitment of 26+ hours a week at minimum.

Required Documentation

Students are required to document their work each week for the unit covered and homework will be reviewed during each weekly class cycle. Your local instructor or remote guru will review your documentation in detail every week to make sure you are not falling behind.

Your Fab Academy documentation must show completion of the unit and core skill competencies. It will be in HTML format and must be able to exist within a GIT archive.

At minimum, the Global Evaluation Committee expects a student’s documentation to include:

  • A text description of their project for the week

  • Designing and fabricating the work

  • Supporting photographs (video is great, but not required).

  • All final fabrication files in their original, editable formats

  • All code in an editable format, testable format

  • What the student learned: what succeeded and what failed.

It is recommended that students choose a licence for their work prior to the start of publicly posting their files. ie: Creative Commons

Sharing Digital Files and Code

You must share all of your digital design files and code (where applicable) to pass the unit.

Student Rights and Expectations

You have the right to expect:

  • Access to working and well-maintained digital fabrication machines in your local lab.

  • That all the necessary course materials will be provided for you by the local lab before the necessary unit.

    • This includes sheet goods, molding and casting supplies and electronics components.
  • Meeting at least three times a week with your local instructor.

    • Two meetings are devoted to hands-on machine instruction, general lab access and direct physical access to the local instructor for questions, tutoring, etc.

    • The third session each week is devoted to Wednesday’s lecture session with Neil Gershenfeld.

  • That your local instructor will be available to answer questions via email during the week - outside of class.

  • That your local instructor will give you meaningful feedback on your work and documentation. If your documentation is unsatisfactory, the Local Instructor will help you to get it up to par.

If you have a Remote Guru assigned, you should expect that:

  • the Guru will contact you to set up a mutually agreed upon weekly video check-in session to help you with any questions you may have.

Student Responsibilities

It is your responsibility to be proactive in the Fab Academy course. This course offers a great deal of personal freedom.

However you are responsible for:

  • Attending class lectures and participating in reviews

  • Developing and documenting projects assigned to introduce and demonstrate skills

  • Designing and fabricating your own projects

    • It’s fine to begin with someone else’s files, but it is not acceptable to pass someone else’s work off as your own.

    • Cite all your sources and inspirations.

  • Working safely and follow security measures

  • Leaving workspaces in the same (or better) condition than I found them

  • Participating in the upkeep of my lab

  • Respecting the community in my lab

  • Ensuring that my tuition to cover local and central class costs is covered