General

How do I access the FabLab?

The FabLab is currently available for all current UTA students, faculty, and staff to use as well as Alumni within one year of graduation.  To enter the library and to use our equipment, you must remember to bring your Mav ID; we swipe this card before you begin using equipment so that we can better keep track of whose creations are whose!  You'll also need Mav Money loaded onto your ID to pay for the materials you use in the lab.  If you've lost your ID, please visit the Mav Express office to replace it.

I heard the FabLab is expanding. What will the new space include?

Short answer: A whole lot!

Long answer: In response to the student community we decided to go big! We are expanding well beyond the Fab Lab core capabilities and will be including a unique art space as well as a machinery room where several large wood and metal working machines will be available for trained students (yes, training will be free and frequent!). We are expanding from an 800 sq. ft. beta space to an 8,000 sq. ft. space, which takes a lot of time to do well, but as soon as we've trained our staff on how to use new equipment we'll be rolling it out for our learners to use!

Is the FabLab available during the summer?

Yes! While we've temporarily scaled back our hours for the summer to focus on the expansion, we are still open 7 days a week.  You can view our current hours on our Hours & Parking page.  Check back there for new hours when the fall semester starts!

What is a "FabLab"?

Fabrication Laboratories, or FabLabs, are part of a global initiative that emerged from MIT’s Center for Bits & Atoms Fab Lab Program.  They are creative hubs that provide learners with access to technologies, equipment, training, and inspirational spaces in support of invention and entrepreneurship. The UTA FabLab is a platform for project-based, hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) education.

When is the FabLab available?

Please see our hours page for the most up-to-date information.

Who is the FabLab for?

The FabLab is for current UTA faculty, staff, and students of any major or year of study.  Anyone who is interested in learning the latest technologies to turn ideas into reality can use the FabLab to iterate their ideas and work with other learners in the space to come up with new ideas. We strive to accommodate as many modes of creation as possible and constantly search for new ways to help students learn and innovate.

We are a teaching and learning space, so while we are more than happy to walk you through your ideas and show you how to use the software and equipment you will need, we cannot make items for you.

Who makes decisions about what equipment goes into the FabLab?

Everyone! We are constantly seeking outside input about equipment and technology so we can provide our community with the best FabLab experience possible. From attending annual workshops with personnel from other FabLabs around the globe, to simple meetings with our day to day patrons, we're always asking what people want to see in our FabLab. The FabLab is a diverse and fluid environment that you can take a role in shaping!

Equipment

Can I check out a piece of equipment from the FabLab?

We are currently developing a checkout system for some equipment (mostly hand tools). We know a lot of projects can expand beyond the library and are fully committed to helping you explore your creativity wherever it takes you.  When that system is in place, we will update the website!

Can someone train me on a piece of equipment in the FabLab?

FabLab staff have a basic knowledge of the operation and use of each piece of equipment. We are more than willing to help you learn and get going with anything in the lab. We operate under a mantra of, "if we don't know the answer, we can learn it together," so if you want to do something that surpasses our expertise we will work with you to find possible solutions that fall within safe use of the equipment.  We will also offer workshops to provide more in-depth instruction in a more formal setting.

Check out our tutorials page for more information on our equipment.

Does it cost anything to use the FabLab?

The only thing we charge for at the UTA FabLab is the cost of consumable materials we have to restock. A good rule of thumb is, if you bring your own materials, it’s free. We do require that learners use the 3D printer filament that we provide so that we can cut down on clogs and misprints, and also consider bits and other equipment accessories "consumables." 

How do Arduinos work? What can I make with one?

Arduinos are microcontrollers, which mean they enable us to work with just about anything electronic! Visit the site regularly, as we will be adding videos and tutorials on Arduino and other technology.

How do I use the equipment?

FabLab staff should be familiar with all the equipment in the lab. While we all have the knowledge for basic use of equipment, more advanced jobs might need the help of a technician or specialist. Sometimes we really push the bounds of our knowledge and try new and exciting things, we are always willing to learn the equipment along with you!

Check out our tutorials page for more information on our equipment.

Is there someone available to teach me how to use the equipment?

A FabLab technician is always available while the FabLab is open to instruct patrons on the safe operation of all equipment.

Check out our tutorials page for more information on our equipment.

Who makes decisions about what equipment goes into the FabLab?

Everyone! We are constantly seeking outside input about equipment and technology so we can provide our community with the best FabLab experience possible. From attending annual workshops with personnel from other FabLabs around the globe, to simple meetings with our day to day patrons, we're always asking what people want to see in our FabLab. The FabLab is a diverse and fluid environment that you can take a role in shaping!

Library

Why is the Library moving/getting rid of all the books?

The second floor of the Central Library is being re-purposed to make a more collaborative study space for students.

Materials

Does it cost anything to use the FabLab?

The only thing we charge for at the UTA FabLab is the cost of consumable materials we have to restock. A good rule of thumb is, if you bring your own materials, it’s free. We do require that learners use the 3D printer filament that we provide so that we can cut down on clogs and misprints, and also consider bits and other equipment accessories "consumables." 

Membership

Who is the FabLab for?

The FabLab is for current UTA faculty, staff, and students of any major or year of study.  Anyone who is interested in learning the latest technologies to turn ideas into reality can use the FabLab to iterate their ideas and work with other learners in the space to come up with new ideas. We strive to accommodate as many modes of creation as possible and constantly search for new ways to help students learn and innovate.

We are a teaching and learning space, so while we are more than happy to walk you through your ideas and show you how to use the software and equipment you will need, we cannot make items for you.

Printing

Can I bring my own filament for 3D printing?

We require that you use the filament we provide for use on the PolyPrinters and UPrint.  This is because we experienced a variety of issues with clogging, recalibrating, and keeping track of what was ours and what belonged to our learners.  If there is a certain color you want that we don't have, please email us so we can order it for you!

We do allow learners to bring their own 1.75mm filament for use in the Delta 3D printer.

How do I add money to my print card?

If you have an existing student ID issued by the university you can add money to your Mav ID at www.uta.edu/mavexpress.

There is also a print card machine available on the second floor of the Central Library that you can use to load cash onto your ID.

How much does it cost to 3D print?

To 3D print on all machines except the uPrint is 5 cents per gram, and it is $1 per gram on the uPrint.