UW-Stout News Story

Community class introduces residents to digital design, Fab Lab

December 3, 2013

A partnership between the Menomonie Public Library and University of Wisconsin-Stout is giving area residents a chance to experience cutting-edge technology.

A total of 12 people took part this fall in Introduction to Design for Digital Fabrication, the first in a series of three classes.

Class members meet in the Fab Lab.Class members, over the course of three evenings at the library, learned the basics of 2D and 3D computer assisted design and modeling using free, Web-based software. Then they went to the Discovery Center Fab Lab in UW-Stout's Applied Arts Building to learn about the lab's equipment: a minimill, vinyl cutter, laser engraver, router and 3D printer.

The lab, which opened in February 2013, is part of a global network organized to encourage innovation and design through modern means and to emphasize collaboration and creative problem-solving.

A trinket made in Fab Lab.Fab labs were introduced more than a decade ago by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Bits and Atoms.

The Discovery Center, UW-Stout's umbrella organization for applied research, outreach and economic development, established the Fab Lab with the assistance of a multiyear $520,000 Growth Agenda award from the UW System.

The second class in the series will be offered in January, with the opportunity to do more hands-on learning. The third class, How to Build Almost Anything, will set the stage for bringing ideas to life. The first class is a prerequisite for the second and third classes.

Another series of three classes may be offered in the near future. For more information, contact Terese Wentworth at UW-Stout, 715-232-2793.

For more information about the Fab Lab, go to the website.

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