FABulous Facts: The History of Fab Labs

Ever wonder the origins of Fab LabsWell if you don’t know, now you know! 

By Dia Brown 

You may have had fleeting thoughts while working on your ME 001 car or your senior design prototypes such as hmm, I wonder why it’s called a Fab Lab or I wonder where the logo came from. Though there are many fabulous people here at the lab—that’s not why we are called the Fab Lab! 

The name stands for “fabrication laboratory,” and the idea was first created by Professor Neil Gershenfeld at MIT in 2001.The goal was to make an accessible and affordable make space. This idea was eventually replicated across the world from India to Berlin to Burlington, Vermont! One of the MakerBot’s’ in the lab is named after Prof. Gershenfeld!  

Image above: Prof. Gershenfeld lookin’ fly in a 2006 interview 

Image below: labeled image of tools offered at a Fab Lab in Berlin… look familiar? 

The logo also has its own story. Though the exact history is unknown, the inspiration for the logo has its own unique design process. 

There you have it- and if you didn’t know, now you know! 

References: 

Ang, M. (2015, January 30). Fab Lab: Worldwide labs for digital fabrication. Packt Hub. https://hub.packtpub.com/fab-lab-worldwide-labs-digital-fabrication-0/ 

Karagianis, L. (n.d.). Fab Lab. MIT Spectrum. Retrieved May 6, 2021, from https://spectrum.mit.edu/spring-2006/fab-lab/ 

The Fab Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2021, from https://fabfoundation.org/ 

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