Released: January 29, 2018
Santa Fe Community College’s Innovation Center announces the grand opening celebration of Fab Lab Santa Fe from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12. The public can tour Fab Lab Santa Fe and join in the festive opening ceremony in the lobby of the Trades and Advanced Technology Center at the college, 6401 Richards Ave.
Fab Lab Santa Fe is a part of the international digital FABrication LABoratory network based at MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms [CBA] in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded by CBA Director Neil Gershenfeld, Ph.D., Fab Labs democratize access to the five basic tools of digital fabrication, including 3-D printing, laser cutting & marking, CNC machining, vinyl cutting, and microelectronics assembly, all tied together with computer aided design (CAD).
Focus at each of the more than 1,000 Fab Labs worldwide is determined by the individual founding organization. Fab Lab Hub, LLC, a New Mexico company whose mission is to foster “New Collar Job Training and Entrepreneurship,” operates Fab Lab Santa Fe at SFCC and its sister, Archimedes Fab Lab, at the Santa Fe Business Incubator. Fab Lab Santa Fe in the TATC is bringing a Digital Badging program to SFCC for technical skills needed in smart manufacturing. Digital Badges are portable credentials that verify attaining expertise in a specific area of study.
Fab Lab Hub will also operate small contract service bureaus also called job shops in order to be able to provide students in the Digital Badging courses with paid internships and apprenticeships. “When we’re training students to use digital manufacturing tools it’s important for them to have real world experience in order to be hired in today’s job market,” said Fab Lab Hub Santa Fe founder Sarah Boisvert. Producing parts for real customers that need timely delivery and good quality control will give SFCC students an edge in the job market. Additionally, the jobs will also financially support students as they go through the training.” Digital tools in Fab Lab Santa Fe can make molds for casting jewelry or small parts, rapid prototype functional parts, build microfluidic devices, create wearable electronic devices, laser mark rewards, and make furniture, among other manufacturing services.
SFCC Interim President Cecilia Cervantes, Ph.D. and Patrick Duran, a Field Representative in the office of Congressman Ben Ray Luján will open the grand opening ceremony at 5 p.m. Boisvert will speak about the impact Fab Lab Santa Fe will have on the community and describe the smart manufacturing research described in her book, The New Collar Workforce, recently published by Photonics Media Press. In addition, Alice Loy, CEO of Creative Startups will announce a new partnership with Fab Lab Hub in a statewide entrepreneurship program that is a collaboration with the New Mexico State Library, the New Mexico State Library Foundation and regional public libraries. Fab Lab Hub will help participants in the Libraries as Launchpads project prototype their business ideas, as well as provide cash and three months of prototyping prizes to winners.
SFCC’s Dean of the School of Trades, Technology, Sustainability and Professional Studies and of the School of Business and Education Camilla Bustamante, Ph.D. welcomes Fab Lab Santa Fe as an ideal partner for the college. Bustamante said, “The opportunities the Fab Lab Hub brings to our community could only be limited by any lack of creativity. Because we are known as being one the most creative places in the world, the possibilities are endless.”
Fab Lab Santa Fe is the latest business to open at SFCC’s Innovation Center in the TATC. Director of SFCC’s Innovation Center Luke Spangenburg said, “The SFCC Innovation Center is proud to collaborate and create Fab Lab Santa Fe with Fab Lab Hub, a part of the international fab lab network. Fab Lab Hub’s founder Sarah Boisvert’s leadership and experience with MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms and the national fabrication industry is a critical component in establishing the new collar economy for our region.”
SFCC’s Innovation Center housed in the TATC has forged partnerships with Santa Fe start-ups including NTxBio (a research company that is identifying compounds to potentially identify and develop new drugs such as antibiotics that could fight resistant bacteria) and Apogee Spirulina producing artisan-grown, hand harvested spirulina (nutrient-rich algae that is a food source). The companies offer opportunities for students to work with dynamic entrepreneurs.
For more information about Fab Lab Santa Fe visit fablabhub.org. To find out about Continuing Education classes taught at the Fab Lab Santa Fe either call 505-428-1676 or visit sfcc.edu.
For more than three decades, Santa Fe Community College has served as the gateway to success for individuals and the community. SFCC provides affordable, high quality educational programs that serve the social, cultural, technological and economic needs of a diverse community. The college serves more than 15,000 students per year in its credit, noncredit and adult education programs. For further information, visit the website or call 505-428-1000. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.