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Fab Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Engineering, Technology

Mission: The fab foundation was formed february 6, 2009 to facilitate and support the growth of the international fab lab network. The fab foundation is a us non-profit 501(c)(3) organization emerging from the massachusetts institute of technology's center for bits & atoms' (cba) international fab lab outreach program. Our mission is to provide access to the tools, the knowledge and the financial means to educate, innovate and invent using technology and digital fabrication to allow anyone to make (almost) anything, and thereby creating opportunities to improve lives and livelihoods around the world. Community organizations, educational institutions and non-profit concerns are our primary beneficiaries.

Programs: The organization supports access to the tools and skills of digital fabrication, and promotes digital fabrication by facilitating the development of community-based and educational fab labs, the dissemination of best practices in digital fabrication throughout the fab lab network, facilitation and dissemination of research and community-beneficial projects, the funding and facilitation of fab lab and digital fabrication projects that benefit people and communities in exemplary ways, such as mobile fab labs for emergency aid, or fab labs for developing world contexts. These services include deploying, installing, training, and consulting for new fab labs as well as programmatic support of established fab labs. The organization works to gather and provide critical evaluation data as well as provide tools for tracking the impact of fab labs in educational, business and social contexts. As part of its services the organization provides a network function for the fab lab community, bringing together fab labs around the world either physically (for annual meetings and workshops) or virtually through online tools and resources.

the fab academy provides instruction and supervises investigation of mechanisms, applications, and implications of digital fabrication. Just as communications and computation went from analog to digital, resulting in pcs and the internet, the digitization of fabrication is leading to personal fabricators that will allow anyone to make almost anything, anywhere. The development of digital fabrication is based on creating codes that don't just describe things, they are things, much as proteins are coded in molecular biology. This research roadmap is ultimately aiming at a star trek-style replicator, but prototype versions of these capabilities are already available in field fab labs. The fab academy offers certificates on relevant technical topics, and a diploma aimed at vocational and technical training for employment and investment (along with assistance to its graduates in those areas). These are accredited by the fab academy; it is anticipated that they will by followed by a bachelor's degree to be offered under applicable regional accreditation, along with post-graduate study.

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