We currently offer remote consulting for the UVM community: The FabLab team is available to consult with students, faculty, staff and K-12 educators about the prototyping services of the FabLab that include 3D printing, laser cutting and engraving and more (for a listing of equipment see uvmfablab.net). Students may also contact us to get advice about 3d model designs; while the FabLab is not currently fabricating academic projects in the lab the FabLab team can offer advice around the viability of models and make suggestions that would improve 3d models and make them suitable for 3d printing in the future. To contact the UVM FabLab email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regarding local manufacturing and needs for the COVID-19 crisis: UVM’s Instrumentation and Model Facility (IMF) is leading UVM’s response to these needs, addressing medical equipment needs, repair and fabrication. UVM Risk Management and UVM IMF are working closely together and with the UVM Medical Center; the UVM FabLab is supporting their efforts. Thank you to everyone who has shown concern and sent us DIY patterns and models.
Given the situation around COVID–19, our staff is working remotely. We are not running projects in the lab but we are available for consultation and for checking files. Please feel free to contact us over email.
On Friday (12/6) from 6-8pm and on Wednesday (12/11) from 2-4pm we invite you to drop in for a soldering lesson. We’ll have a variety of kits available and our FabLab technicians (Fabbers) are enthusiastic about sharing this skill. This is for those who have never soldered before and beginners who want more practice.
In addition, on Wednesday (12/11) from 2-4pm we invite you to drop in for laser cutting snowflakes.
Please look at the ‘Workshops for the UVM Community’ page for more information.
Nearly as much as maple syrup and ski slopes, tractors are a motif of Vermont—but driving one safely is more complicated than some might think. So UVM had a unique opportunity lately when Liz Kenton at the Center for Sustainable Agriculture reached out to the school’s FabLab for help ensuring safety among young tractor drivers.
“It started during a conversation at the Vermont Farm Health and Safety Coalition, and I mentioned offhand that I’d love to have a model of a tractor hitch printed,” says Kenton, who received the name of CEMS Director of Communications and Lecturer Jenn Karson from Philip Jones of Project WorkSafe and the Vermont Department of Labor. Karson, in turn, introduced Kenton to Matt Argraves, a staffer at the FabLab.
The most interesting part of the project, says Argraves, was going to the UVM farm and testing out different tractors. Then came building the model, no small feat. “It was really challenging taking this fairly large device and miniaturizing it down to one-sixteenth scale,” he says. “They’d be so small that they would break.”
Eventually, Argraves was able to build a successful model, one that Kenton now uses in teaching tractor safety. “Matt went the extra mile in spending time on the farm and learning about tractors; the details he put into it are just great,” says Kenton. “Now, the model is an attention-getter. It really helps students who are new to tractors become more comfortable.”
Fabbers had a booth as part of the daytime Maker Faire and demonstrated 3D printing for engineering. The evening Illuminated Forest featured 16 light and sound installations in woods next to the Coach Barn. Fabbers created a zoetrope kangaroo carousel for the ocassion! See video and pictures below.
We know that academic makerspaces create meaningful experiences for students, yet how do we measure this meaningful impact? Where do we start?
Last fall on behalf of the UVM FabLab I attended the first International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces (ISAM) at MIT. Organizers for the symposium came from MIT, Yale, Stanford, Olin, Carnegie Mellon, Case Western Reserve, Georgia Tech and UC Berkeley.
I specifically attended the conference to learn how to better use metrics to measure the impact of academic makerspaces. The big idea emphasized by Malcom Cooke of ThinkBox at Case Western was Keep Calm and Collect Data – collect as much data as possible and start today! Collect data that you can assess and measure over time, look to metrics and outcomes, quantitative and qualitative outcomes.