The FABacademy teaches the principles and applications of digital fabrication. It was developed to teach hands-on skills in FABlab’s, which began as an outreach project from MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, and has grown into a global network of more than 800 labs. FABacademy instruction is based on MIT’s popular rapid-prototyping course “How To Make (almost) Anything”, taught by Prof. Neil Gershenfeld. It 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.
In 2016, the small team at the lab participated in the diploma training with Ohad Meyuhas (founder of FABlab Israel) as the mentor. FABlab is now gearing up and preparing to offer this innovative diploma course in 2017, of course funding is required and this will make or break the drive to open FABacademy Namibia.
In partnership with the newly established Innovation Design Lab (IDL) of NUST, the diploma will be offered to a specific group of interning students working on the first Namibian Solar Electric Utility Vehicle (NSEUV). The awarded students will therefore form the team tasked with utilising the core competencies acquired over the 6 month training to develop the ultimate third prototype version of NSEUV which will later be presented to a global audience at the FABlab global conference and graduation ceremony set to be held in South America in August 2017.
The Diploma or Individual FABacademy
• digital fabrication principles & practices • computer-aided design, manufacturing & modeling
• computer controlled cutting
• electronics design & production
• computer controlled machining
• embedded programming
• 3D molding & casting
• collaborative technical development & project management
• 3D scanning & printing • sensors, actuators & displays
• interface & application programming • embedded networking & communications • machine design
• digital fabrication applications & implications
• invention, intellectual property & business models
• digital fabrication project development
FABlab aims to bring advanced vocational training to the country with the MIT driven FABfoundation’s FABacademy certificate and diploma course, as well as various other innovative activities.