About the Wanger Family Fab Lab
The Museum houses a state-of-the-art digital fabrication laboratory called the Wanger Family Fab Lab, a small-scale workshop for computer-based innovation, design and fabrication. The Fab Lab allows you to dream up, design and make almost anything you can imagine using cutting-edge software and equipment.
MSI’s Wanger Family Fab Lab is one of more than 100 such labs worldwide. They began as a community outreach program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and have spread worldwide to rural India, Africa, Europe and across America. All Fab Labs share software, equipment and core capabilities, so that people and projects can be shared among all sites. Fab Lab users engage in problem-based learning and hands-on fabrication, becoming innovators of new projects and prototypes for limitless use and application.
MSI’s Fab Lab offers the Dream It, Design It, Fab It! program for Museum guests. Interested teens in our Science Achievers youth development program learn advanced skills and have developed prototypes of activities that are featured in Museum exhibits. Shortly after the Fab Lab opened in 2007, MSI hosted Fab4, the Fourth International Fab Lab Forum and Symposium on Digital Fabrication.
- Design Circle: twelve CAD workstations (Win7/Linux) | video preview
- Electronics workshop | video preview
- Large CNC machine - Shopbot PRStandard | video preview
- 3D printers | video preview
- Stratasys Prodigy Plus (1), MakerBot Replicator 2 (6), Stratasys uPrint SE Plus (1), Up! Personal Portable 3D Printer (1)
- Epilog mini laser cutter 35 watts (2) | video preview
- Roland CAMM-1 Servo GX-24 desktop vinyl cutter (2) | video preview
- Roland Modela MDX-20 mini CNC machine (2) | video preview
What Can You Do in the Fab Lab?
- Make almost anything, from t-shirts to furniture to robots
- Collaborate with other Fab Labs and design offsite using open-source software
- Learn digital design tools used by experts in the field
- Have hands-on access to fabrication machinery
- Become an expert volunteer
Email fablab(at)msichicago.org for tours, upcoming opportunities and events, and information on how to volunteer in the lab.
- Happening Now
A stunning look inside the animal kingdom from the creators of BODY WORLDS.
A visually stunning exploration of our planet's perilous ring of orbiting debris.
- Coming Soon
Join us for hands-on projects, student discussions, live science experiences and more!
Revisit the memorable architectural and visual design of Chicago's 1933 World's Fair.
New Online Activities
- Online Activity
Use chromatography to separate the pigments in leaves and see what they're made of.
- Online Activity
See what happens when air is heated as you build and fly a huge hot-air balloon.