# Exploring Fab Academy's 15th Edition

# A Look into Innovative Student Projects and Global Impact

Read 2 min

Welcome to the Fab Academy's 15th edition! As we eagerly embrace the class of 2024 (opens new window), with a growing group of 236 students and 78 Nodes from 71 countries, we anticipate an enriching journey filled with innovation and collaboration. This year, we are thrilled to introduce enhancements aimed at elevating the student experience and fostering a vibrant learning community. Join us as we delve into the exciting developments and projects within the Fab Academy ecosystem.

# Embracing Education and Innovation

Professor Neil Gershenfeld is introducing a new electronic production (opens new window) technique to this year's students. The process involves composing a PCB design first, followed by creating a stencil using polycarbonate plastic (0.01 inch) and using the low-cost mini CNC LUNYEE 3018 PRO (opens new window) MAX or also with the Cricut (opens new window). These stencils are then stacked on top of the PCB, allowing for the application of solder paste and placement of various components. Finally, a heat gun is used for reflow, resulting in high-quality outcomes.

One of the highlights from this year's program experts is the Blender Parametric Press-Fit Kit (opens new window) tutorial, led by Rico Kanthatham (opens new window) from Skylabworkshop (opens new window) and Santi Fuentemilla (opens new window) from Fab Lab Barcelona (opens new window). This tutorial demonstrates how to leverage Blender's Geometric Nodes to create 2D shapes for Press-Fit Kits, offering adjustable parameters for slot dimensions and number of sides. With this showcase of Blender as a robust Parametric modeling tool, students gain valuable insights into digital fabrication techniques, empowering them to explore new avenues of creativity.

From the students’ weekly development, Bernardo Lamuno (opens new window) from Fab Lab Puebla (opens new window) explores parametric design using Fusion 360 and Blender on his M1 Mac, exemplifying the diverse skill sets cultivated within the Fab Academy program. Through tutorials like "Learn Fusion 360 in 30 days," Bernardo honed his Fusion 360 skills, ultimately choosing it as his preferred tool for CAD and parametric design. His final project, featuring stunning renders in Blender (opens new window) utilizing Cycles and procedural textures, underscores the versatility of Blender, achieving remarkable design outcomes. Bernardo's journey serves as a testament to the combined strengths of creativity and technical expertise nurtured within Fab Academy.

Caption: Bernardo Render in Blender

During the early stages of the Fab Academy program, Edwin Dertien (opens new window) from Waag (opens new window) embarked on a journey of exploration, employing a diverse range of design software to realize his vision. From GIMP for 2D image processing to Fusion360, FreeCAD, Rhino, Grasshopper, OpenSCAD (opens new window), and Blender for 3D modeling, Edwin's project exemplifies the interdisciplinary approach encouraged within Fab Academy. His mastery of OpenSCAD for modeling and Blender for rendering demonstrates the effectiveness of leveraging multiple tools to achieve project goals. Edwin's experience underscores the importance of adaptability and experimentation in the pursuit of creative solutions.

# Fab Academy's Impact: Empowering Global Communities

As we celebrate the 15th edition of Fab Academy, we reflect on the profound impact it has had on over 1,300 students (opens new window) from 105 countries worldwide. With the participation of 216 nodes (opens new window), Fab Labs, and organizations, Fab Academy continues to serve as a global catalyst for knowledge dissemination and advanced manufacturing. By nurturing a collaborative cohort of innovators, Fab Academy remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering individuals and communities worldwide.

Fab Academy stands as a testament to the transformative power of education, innovation, and collaboration. Through a diverse array of projects and experiences, students have demonstrated their creativity, technical prowess, and dedication to pushing the boundaries of digital fabrication. Join us in celebrating the remarkable achievements of the class of 2024 and the enduring legacy of Fab Academy, shaping the future of advanced manufacturing.

Read the 2022-2023 Fab Academy Report (opens new window)

# January 2024

# Fab Academy Instructors Bootcamp Unveils Future of Learning

2 min read

In a dynamic meeting of the minds, Fab Academy Instructors Bootcamp unfolded January 8-12, 2024 in León, Spain. Over 30 instructors from diverse corners of the globe came together, forging a vibrant global network dedicated to revolutionizing digital manufacturing education.

The bootcamp, hosted at Fab Lab León (opens new window), showcased a rich tapestry of workshops and sessions, shaping the trajectory of the Fab Academy 2024 cycle and beyond. The instructors immersed themselves in cutting-edge technologies, from mastering electronics production techniques like the NEW Quentorres (opens new window), proposed by Adrián Torres, to Lunyee + V-bits, led by Neil Gershenfeld, Henk Buursen and Jean-Michel Molenaar, exploring the intricacies of embedded programming and electronics design.

A pivotal moment during the bootcamp was the Midterm review, where instructors tackled project system diagrams, tasks, and schedules, guided by a vision to elevate the quality and impact of final projects. Neil Gershenfeld, the visionary founder of Fab Academy, added his touch, urging instructors to polish documents illuminating the construction, production, and operation of final projects—empowering future students with comprehensive insights.

The workshops were an exploration of innovation. Instructors delved into realms that define the avant-garde of advanced manufacturing—from the Ferret Pro (opens new window) scanner unlocking new dimensions in 3D printing scanning to workshops on Blender nodes, CAD Sketcher (opens new window) by Rico Kanthatham and Adai Surinach, as well as Modular Things CoreXY (opens new window) by Andri Sæmundsson and Yuichi Tamiya. A special mention goes to the Urumbu Sambot workshop, led by Jani Ylioja, which focused on embedded languages and provided instructors with tools to navigate the complexities of programming languages.

The bootcamp set the stage for a transformative journey. Instructors laid the foundation for a global community of machine builders, pushing the boundaries of open design and collaborative learning. A shared vision for the future of education emerged, in which Fab Academy harnesses 15 years of experience to be a beacon of hands-on, inclusive, and globally coordinated learning.

The Fab Academy Instructors Bootcamp was not just a gathering; it was a convergence of pioneering minds shaping the future of digital manufacturing education. The journey has just begun, and as the vision takes root, Fab Academy stands poised to redefine the learning landscape.

Stay tuned for updates as the Fab Academy 2024 (opens new window) cycle unfolds, bringing a new wave of innovation and skill-building to students worldwide.

Full documentation here (opens new window).

FA Stories

# November, 2023

# Calling all Tinkerers, Makers, and Innovators!

Are you looking for an adventure to spark your professional curiosity? Do you want to ignite your passion for learning, making, and doing? Reinvent yourself—and the world around you—at Fab Academy.

Fab Academy is a fast-paced, intensive education program dedicated to the exploration of advanced manufacturing techniques and methodologies. A multi-disciplinary and hands-on learning experience, this five-month course teaches students to envision, design, and prototype innovative solutions through digital fabrication. Since 2007, the program has transformed learners of all ages and backgrounds into active problem solvers building sustainable communities across the world.

“If you empower somebody to produce…it fundamentally changes how an economy works. What are the implications of anybody being able to make anything?”

Neil Gershenfeld Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms & Co-Founder of Fab Academy

Responding to the evolving needs of industry and the demands of modern society, Fab Academy has pioneered a global education movement that challenges traditional approaches to learning. This has resulted in an outgrowth of jobs, projects, businesses, and initiatives by shifting the linear industrial paradigm toward a circular, distributed, and locally productive model. With our globally distributed approach to education, students are first gathered in peer groups at local Fab Labs for interpersonal working sessions. Each regional group is then connected in an online campus for interactive video classes and content sharing with classmates from over 65 distinct Fab Academy nodes around the world. The international faculty gives video lectures, supervises academic content, and guides student research. Hands-on support in the Fab Labs is provided by instructors—experts in their respective fields—who supervise and evaluate certificates, develop and disseminate instructional material, and assist with projects.

Our program is open to students, professionals, and lifelong learners across all disciplines who are looking to broaden the scope of their practice. While some prior knowledge of design, electronic programming, and web development may be helpful, participants from every walk of life are welcome, regardless of experience. To ensure success in the course, however, we ask that applicants be proficient in English, both written and spoken.

FA Stories

# November, 2020

# Check our Fab Academy Alumni Stories...

# Fab Lab Irbid's students talk about their Fab Academy experience

# Marks Calderón from Peru

# Inspiring Women - Alejandra Diaz de León

# Get Inspired with Daniele Ingrassia

Check out more inspiring stories on our Youtube channel (opens new window).

Last Updated: 2/26/2024, 4:46:37 PM