At the Fab Academy, you will learn how to envision, prototype and document your ideas through many hours of hands-on experience with digital fabrication tools. We take a variety of code formats and turn them into physical objects.
The Fab Academy Diploma consists of a 5 month part-time student commitment, from mid January to June. The Fab Diploma is the result of the sum of Fab Academy Certificates. Progress towards the diploma is evaluated by a student’s acquired skills rather than time or credits.
The Fab Academy is a fast paced, hands-on learning experience where students plan and execute a new project each week. Each individual documents their progress for each project, resulting in a personal portfolio of technical accomplishments.
The Fab Academy
The Fab Academy is a distributed educational program on Digital Fabrication, it is directed by Neil Gershenfield of MIT’s Center For Bits and Atoms and based on MIT’s rapid prototyping course, MAS 863: How to Make (Almost) Anything. Starting as an innovative training method, it is nowadays the most complete worldwide program regarding Digital Fabrication within the Fablab Network. It provides advanced digital fabrication instruction for students through a democratized access to technological tools, resources and best practices.
Fab Academy offers a distributed rather than distance educational model: students learn in local workgroups, with peers, mentors, and machines, which are then connected globally by content sharing and video for interactive classes. When necessary, the individual labs are supported and supervised regionally by sites with more advanced capabilities, expertise, and inventories.
The Fab Academy Diploma consists of a 5 month part-time or full-time commitment, from January to June. The diploma is the combination of 16 certificates (listed below) and progress towards the diploma is evaluated by a student’s documentation and acquired skills rather than time or credits.
What do you learn
At the Fab Academy, you learn how to envision, prototype and document your ideas through many hours of hands-on experience with digital fabrication tools, taking a variety of code formats and turning them into physical objects. List of certificates:
- digital fabrication principles and practices – 1 week
- computer-aided design, manufacturing, and modeling – 1 week
- computer-controlled cutting – 1 week
- electronics design and production – 2 weeks
- computer-controlled machining – 1 week
- embedded programming – 1 week
- 3D molding and casting – 1 week
- collaborative technical development and project management – 1 week
- 3D scanning and printing – 1 week
- sensors, actuators, and displays – 2 weeks
- interface and application programming – 1 week
- embedded networking and communications – 1 week
- machine design – 2 weeks
- digital fabrication applications and implications – 1 week
- invention, intellectual property, and business models – 1 week
- digital fabrication project development – 2 weeks
Fab Academy in Fablab Amsterdam
Fablab Amsterdam is part of Waag, science and technology. Fablab Amsterdam is one of the first Fablabs that hosted the Fab Academy when it was still a pilot in 2008. You can look at the online pages to check what our students made during their experiences: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018.
To guarantee a complete and professional support to our students and a full accessibility to tools and machines, the number of available spots is limited and the course will be held only if the minimum number of students is reached.
How it works
During the Fab Academy program global lectures are broadcasted every Wednesday. In Fablab Amsterdam we meet every Wednesdays to review the local weekly assignments and follow the global lecture together. The Thursday’s are dedicated to the local classes of which the topic varies per week. Other days of the week students have access to the Fablab machines, tools and support based. Read more about the organization of Fab Academy here.
Requirements and commitment
Students with all types of backgrounds attended the program in Fablab Amsterdam. Artists, high school graduate students, teachers, engineers, computer scientists, professionals, fablab managers and designers followed the program. As a student, it is important to be motivated and self-directed learners. Read about the program requirements here.