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University of Washington Tacoma to offer classes at Tacoma’s Fab Lab

Post by Kathleen Cooper / The News Tribune on March 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
March 27, 2013 1:01 pm

Starting in April, students at the University of Washington Tacoma will have a classroom in an inventors’ paradise.

FabLab, Pierce County’s first membership-based high-tech workshop and fabrication studio, will be the site of classes including “TCES 490, How to Build (Almost) Anything”, patterned after classes taught at MIT, according to a news release.

Gabriel Hug uses the 3D printer, right, at FabLab, in downtown Tacoma last fall. Four investors including Scott Wallace left, are starting the membership-based do-it-yourself workshop, targeting a clientele of hobbyists, inventors, entrepreneurs, artists and students. Photo by Janet Jensen, staff photographer
Gabriel Hug uses the 3D printer, right, at FabLab, in downtown Tacoma last fall. Four investors including Scott Wallace left, are starting the membership-based do-it-yourself workshop, targeting a clientele of hobbyists, inventors, entrepreneurs, artists and students. Photo by Janet Jensen, staff photographer

“FabLab offers people great opportunities to design and build just about anything, and students studying Computer Engineering and Systems at UWT now have design tools at their disposal that the campus labs simply can’t offer,” said Rob Friedman, director of the Institute of Technology, in the news release.

FabLab, short for Fabrication Lab, is a dues-based business that provides members access to machines they can’t afford to buy on their own – a $30,000 laser cutter and etcher, for example. The lab, at 1938 Market St., also has traditional shop equipment such as saws and welders.

FabLab opened last fall, and its owners said from the beginning that a partnership with the university seemed natural. Friedman agreed.

“FabLab is a good example of the kind of partnerships that UWT wants to establish with local entrepreneurs, retailers and other businesses, each offering facilities and expertise for the greater good of the students and community,” Friedman said.

I’ve checked in with the Lab and the UWT to find out more details about the arrangement, including the financial details. I’ll post here when I learn more.

 

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