Transforming Ideas into Reality: My Journey Through Fab Academy Class of 2017

Transforming Ideas into Reality: My Journey Through Fab Academy Class of 2017
Oscar Diaz Posted by Oscar Diaz on the 17 Nov 2023

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The Fab Academy, an intensive and globally recognized program, has been instrumental in transforming the dreams of aspiring makers, creators, and innovators into reality. Founded by MIT Professor Neil Gershenfeld, this distributed learning model has empowered countless individuals since 2009 to unlock their creative potential using digital fabrication machines and gain access to a global network of mentors and peers. In this blog post, I will delve into my journey back in 2017, exploring the my unique experience of undertaking this cutting-edge course in a selected node, and the invaluable skills and opportunities it brought to my life and career.

The Fab Academy is a distributed learning program designed to teach hands-on, practical skills in digital fabrication, rapid prototyping, and computer-aided design. In the year 2017, I embarked on this journey, eager to explore the vast world of digital fabrication, 3D printing, laser cutting, and more, at Fab Lab BCN. This immersive experience involves intense coursework, with participants dedicating a significant amount of time each week to develop their skills and complete assignments. The combination of local hands-on work and global knowledge-sharing makes it an exceptional and transformative learning journey.

My Fab Academy final project: DIS/ORDER, a cool tool for learning electronics

My final project idea was quite ambitious for me, I wanted to develop not just create an interesting joints system through 3D printed parts but also embedded electronics and personalized programming system. As an architect, I had 2D and 3D design, digital fabrication and documentation skills but almost none experience with electronics design, production and mechanical systems.

DIS/ORDER is an innovative tool based in digital fabrication, parametric design and ADHD education to make circuits in a funny way keeping the focus of the kids while providing funds of electronics, robotics, IoT, programming, 3D printing and 3D design.

The idea of the project began with an application for a scholarship that comes from the FabLat Kids Network to have the opportunity to study the Fab Academy and develop the project that will continue to promote the work of the Fab Lat Kids network, enhance the value of multiculturalism through technology and contribute to the formation of the emerging generation of leaders of a society with collective, human and shared values. The project must be aligned with the vision of FabLat and for the benefit of the Fab Kids initiative to reproduce it in each local fab lab.

You can check out my Fab Academy documentation here

Local Fab Lab Support

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Fab Academy is the support provided by your local Fab Lab node. The facility serve as a hub for creativity, innovation, and learning, where me and my classmates have access to a wide range of digital fabrication machines and tools. We were able to learn from local mentors, who not only guided them in using the equipment but also shared their expertise and passion for making.

Being part of a Fab Lab community also meant that we had the opportunity to collaborate with fellow participants, share ideas, and work on exciting projects. This sense of community and shared enthusiasm for digital fabrication added a whole new dimension to their learning experience.

While local Fab Labs offer a strong foundation, the Fab Academy experience is also enriched by global mentorship. Participants are connected with a network of experts and educators who provide guidance and feedback on their projects. Me and my classmates were able to tap into this vast reservoir of knowledge and experience, receiving invaluable insights from global tutors who helped them refine their ideas and designs.

The Distributed Learning Model

The Fab Academy's distributed learning model is a true proof to the power of collaboration and knowledge sharing. In the digital age, it is no longer necessary to be physically present in a traditional classroom to learn. Through this model, Fab Academy participants have the opportunity to access resources and expertise from around the world, enabling them to hone their skills in a dynamic and evolving field.

Skills That Open Doors

By the end of the Fab Academy journey, I had not only acquired a diverse set of skills in digital fabrication but had also gained the confidence to tackle complex projects and explore innovative ideas. These skills are incredibly valuable in today's fast-paced, technology-driven world. They open doors to a wide range of opportunities in industries such as product design, architecture, engineering, and even entrepreneurship.

The skills learned in the Fab Academy program are not just confined to the classroom or the local Fab Lab. They have the power to transform careers and projects. Our alumnus, armed with their knowledge, was able to take on exciting projects, create innovative prototypes, and bring their ideas to life. The ability to turn concepts into tangible products is a powerful asset, and it's a skill that is highly sought after in today's job market.

Better Opportunities

The Fab Academy experience is not just about acquiring skills; it's about creating opportunities. Me and my classmates found that their Fab Academy journey opened doors to new job prospects, collaborations, and partnerships. Employers and organizations value the practical knowledge and problem-solving abilities honed through this program.

The Fab Academy, founded by MIT Professor Neil Gershenfeld, is not merely an educational program; it's a transformative experience that equips individuals with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to pursue their dreams in the world of digital fabrication and innovation. The journey of my2017 class demonstrates that this distributed learning model, combining local Fab Lab support with global mentorship, can be a game-changer in one's career and life. The skills acquired in the Fab Academy enable participants to leverage their work, take on exciting projects, and create better opportunities for themselves in a rapidly evolving world. If you're passionate about digital fabrication and the maker movement, the Fab Academy could be your ticket to transforming your dreams into reality.