A fab lab functions to teach students to think critically, problem solve, plan, design and create using a number of computer-operated procedures. The best fab labs teach relevant skills using authentic industrial equipment and materials.
The best fab labs will have a 3D printer capable of printing in a wide array of materials, including nylon and durable carbon fiber composites. We recommend the Markforged Onyx One. It comes with Eiger software compatible with STL files from any CAD/CAM program. Markforged’s line of industrial and Metal X printers are widely used by industry, giving your students access to a classroom-friendly 3D printer that is a cut above the rest.
Additive manufacturing is a key component to fab lab requirements, so injection molding is a must-have in addition to your 3D printer. Amatrol’s 96-PLS1 Plastics Technology 1 Learning System is designed to teach modern technical skills in plastics and polymer science using injection molding. LJ Create’s Injection Moulding Trainer offers a classroom-based resource for investigating the techniques used to create thermo-plastic products.
A world-class fab lab will have a robotics component that combines engineering and programming. We recommend ERIK, the Educational Robotics Invention Kit from LJ Create. With multiple design options, ERIK teaches students to work with intelligent servo motors, sensors, a programmable controller and a range of construction parts.
Additionally, students can learn authentic industrial robotic programming with FANUC‘s Intro Robotics package. The set features 6 permanent seats of ROBOGUIDE software and a teach pendant that can connect to a computer. Students can program and operate simulated versions of the world’s most-used industrial robot brand.
A fundamental skill, precision measuring will add to any process performed in your fab lab. Amatrol’s Portable Measurement Tools Learning System introduces principles of measurement using both the U.S. customary system and S.I. metric system. Students will learn a variety of skills including basic and precision measurement, direct and indirect gauging, and dimensional measurements.
A compact 3 axis CNC Router will be the perfect fit for your lab. The Denford Compact 1000 Pro is capable of cutting a range of materials including hard and soft wood, plastic, modeling foam, acrylic and prototyping materials, and non-ferrous metals.
The Denford Micromill is a compact 3 axis milling machine that fits right on your tabletop. It comes equipped with VR CNC milling operating software. The variable spindle speeds and feedrates make it ideal for cutting resistant materials such as wax, plastic, acrylic, aluminum and free cutting alloys.
Programmable Logic Controllers are essential in any digital fab lab, and you’ll want a sturdy yet portable model. With Allen-Bradley and Siemens options available, Amatrol’s Portable PLC trainers teach skills that are directly transferable to industry careers.
Introduce your students to foundational welding principles in a safe, virtual environment before graduating them to live welding. Lincoln Electric’s VRTEX Engage and Miller’s AugmentedArc are foundational systems designed to introduce students to the skilled trades – specifically arc welding. The portable systems include a touch screen monitor, welding gun, tracking device and a work surface. Students will learn safety, machine and process selection, welding procedure set up, welding theory and more.
As professional educational consultants, we’d be happy to help personalize your fab lab with just the right equipment for your needs. Contact us for one-on-one assistance!