The UTA FabLab is a creative hub for students, faculty and staff of the University of Texas at Arlington, providing access to technologies, equipment, training, opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, and inspirational spaces in support of invention and entrepreneurship. The FabLab is a platform for project-based, hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) experiential learning. "Fab Labs," or Fabrication Laboratories, began as an outreach project from the Center for Bits and Atoms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Each lab within this global network ascribes the the Fab Charter in order to allow users to "make (almost) anything."
Why the Library?
Universities have traditionally developed several discreet labs and workspaces to enable research in each discipline on campus. The library exists outside of the auspices of any particular college, removing institutional barriers between ideas and the tools of realization. As an innovative research university, UTA is investing in the bold vision of the FabLab to provide access to cutting-edge technologies to ALL students, faculty, and staff. By democratizing the ability to bring our dreams into reality, the FabLab will empower collaborative interdisciplinary research in a way that is fundamentally impossible under the traditional silos of academia. Of course, the FabLab is not intended to replace the specialized needs of departmental research labs; we are here to give all Mavericks a chance to familiarize themselves with digital design and fabrication tools at any stage of their academic career, in concert with the network of advanced departmental labs.
As a key element of UTA Libraries bold strategic plan to ignite Connection, Creativity, eXploration and Innovation (CCXI), the FabLab is situated on the 1st floor of the UT Arlington Central Library. The UTA FabLab is the first MIT-affiliated Fab Lab in a university in Texas. UTA graduates with experience in the UTA FabLab will garner a competitive advantage in the marketplace through development of a rich toolkit of professional, creative, and technological skills.