Fab Academy for Students

Fab Academy General Rules

The role of Fab Academy is to initiate, mentor and technically train new students for participation and leadership in the global Fab Lab Network community. It’s how we train our teachers. It’s also a great way to gain exposure to a wide variety of digital fabrication, electronics, molding and casting and composites practices and build skills in a short amount of time.

This document is written for those interested and/or participating the Fab Academy (both current and aspiring students and labs). It assumes that you already know what a Fab Lab is – and that you already have one or are in the process of setting one up.

Please read the Fab Academy Handbook HERE.



Student Application Process

Fab Academy is open to potential students both coming from technical and non-technical backgrounds.  If you have a Low or Medium proficiency in 2D and 3D modeling, Digital fabrication, Electronics programming and Web design and development, the course should be considered a full-time dedication program. It is very important that you understand the implications of the time-commitment needed to successfully complete the program.


How does it work?

  • You have to apply to the course by filling the online form and select a Node from the list of active and accepted Fab Labs (nodes).
    Central Coordination will receive a notification of the application and will re-send the email that contains your profile to the Node you selected.
  • Once the Node receives one or more applications, the Node’s Instructor will contact you to give you details about the lab and the implications of taking a course such as Fab Academy. In addition, they will assess your profile to understand if you are a suitable candidate for the course. Each Node/Fab Lab establishes thei own selection criteria.
  • Once your pass the Selection Process, the Instructor or Node coordinator will inform Central Coordination, who will send accepted students a mail, wilt an Acceptance Letter. The letter will contain the details of the program and payment instructions.
  • Application / Acceptance cycles should not be longer than one month.
  • After you receive your Acceptance letter you have 2 weeks to confirm your seat by paying a Deposit. More payment details here.


Fab Academy Classes

Global Lectures

Global lectures happen on Wednesdays at 9:00 AM EST, and last for approximately 3 hours. During the classes, professor Neil Gershenfeld both presents and explains the content and also reviews the work of the students.

In addition to the classes, there are weekly Recitations held on Mondays 9:00 AM EST. These are content driven lectures related to the weekly assignments.



Weekly Regional Reviews

Homework review sessions are led by Gurus and will be staggered according to global time. The exact time will be confirmed by your Instructors.


Local Instruction

During the week, students will work in the Fab Lab, with their peers and under the guidance of their Instructor, to accomplish the weekly assignments. Every Node must ensure:

  • Instruction and technical guidance to all students
  • Students support off hours
  • Archive management (setting and fixing student’s sites on GitLab)



Fab Academy Evaluation Process

During Fab Academy, you will learn how to envision, prototype and document your ideas through many hours of hands-on experience with digital fabrication tools. You will work weekly in short term assignments and complete the course with a Final Project mixing and blending all the acquired knowledge. You will be evaluated mainly based on your website, where you will document your work through out the cycle. So it is important that you incorporate from the beginning the habit of documenting your processes, both success and failure.

The evaluation process is constantly ongoing and has many layers. You will be evaluated for:

  • the assignments (what you’ll do)
  • what we want you to learn each week (why you’re doing it)
  • the base-line evidence/proof/things you need to show what you’ve learned each week (what you did and how you did it).

There is constant evaluation of your performance from your local Instructors, from the senior Instructors leading the Regional Reviews, and from the Faculty. But the obtainment of the diploma rests in the Final Evaluation.

The Final Evaluation Process has 3 steps:

  • Final Project Presentation in front of Faculty and peers
  • Instructor’s assessment or Local Evaluation
  • Global Evaluators assessment or Global Evaluation



A student graduates from Fab Academy under the following  conditions:

  1. He/she has completed and documented ALL the assignments, based on the standards of the Assessment Document.
  2. He/she has presented the Final Project to the Faculty and to their peer in the Final Presentations rounds of June (or January).
  3. He/she has been evaluated and passed the assessment of both Local Instructor and Global Evaluator. For 2017 students, this procedure took place in the App, which you can access with your fablabs.io login info.
  4. He/she has paid their corresponding Fab Academy tuition fees and the Global Evaluation fees (if is a continuing student)


Please read the Evaluation Section of the Fab Academy Handbook HERE

Please read the Fab Academy Assignments and Assessment doc HERE.


IMPORTANT: Students fees cover 1 year (2 evaluation rounds in the year of enrollment, not later!) of instruction and assessment. After this period, access to instruction and evaluation will have extra costs. Check Continuing students section here.



Although the classes run from Jan to June, you should be aware that Fab Academy may take more than that. Here you can see the year-round schedule:

JANUARY_ Classes start mid to lad January

                _ 1st day of class is usually the 2nd Round for the prior cycle’s Final Project Presentation





MAY_ Classes

JUNE_ Early to Mid_June for Final Presentations

         _Late June for Final Evaluations

JULY_ Fab Conference & Graduation Ceremony


SEPTEMBER_ Nodes & Students Applications are open!

NOVEMBER_ 2nd Evaluation Round (to be confirmed)

                    _ Late Nov Node Application Closes

DECEMBER_ Mid Dec Student Application Closes


Students Complaints and Grievances

It is our duty to ensure that all Fab Academy students receive a quality education and that relations between staff and students are equitable. This is why we offer a system for the resolution of disputes, in case they arise.

Please read the Fab Academy Grievances Procedure HERE

File a Complaint HERE