by Louis Mark N. Plaza, College of Education
Fabrication Laboratories or Fab Labs have grown into a global and collaborative movement of engineers, researchers, designers and entrepreneurs in transforming their ideas into usable prototypes.
Fab Labs started as an outreach project of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Bits and Atoms.
Today, the MSU-IIT in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), opens a P4.9 million fabrication laboratory at the first floor of the College of Engineering building.
Dubbed Fab Lab Mindanao, it is internationally recognized as one of the four Fab Labs in the Philippines (www.fablabs.io). The other three are: Fab Lab Bohol in Bohol Island State University in Tagbilaran City, PSHS Fab Lab of the Philippine Science High School in Diliman, Quezon City and Fab Lab UP Cebu at the University of the Philippines in Cebu City.
DTI provides sets of laser cutters, small milling machine with rotary, print and cut machine, 3D printer, big milling machine, and sewing and embroidery machine for Fab Lab Mindanao. As part of DTI’s Shared Service Facility (SSF) program, the institute’s Fab Lab is seen as a strong partner in providing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) a facility that will help them increase their productivity and improve the quality of their products.
Aside from DTI, the Department of Science and Technology provided P1.6 million worth of additional equipment such as 3D printer, 3D scanner and solid work standards. While MSU-IIT will provide P1.4 million in the laboratory renovation and other equipment.
Fab Lab Mindanao is currently managed by Lemuel Clark Velasco, a faculty member of the School of Computer Studies.
Interested parties can contact Fab Lab Mindanao office for the use of equipment and schedule of trainings as well.
Please check the February 2016 issue of Gazette, the official newsletter of the Institute which featured Fab Lab Mindanao on page 3. – OPI