The FabNet Invention System

FabNet is a fabrication network consisting of a series of linked makerspaces that connect schools, universities, educational agencies, and commercial entrepreneurs. A design for a mechanism or apparatus developed in one makerspace can now be transmitted digitally and reproduced by makerspaces at other sites. This capability has made a new model of educational development feasible, in which academic researchers, entrepreneurs, and schools collaborate on development and evaluation of prototypes. The design and prototyping capabilities enabled through collaboration in this manner allow the network to serve as an incubator for innovation. Educational technologies developed and evaluated through FabNet are being released both through open source channels and as commercial products. FabNet is simultaneously building capacity for development of a new generation of teachers and educational leaders who are being prepared to make effective use of the educational environment made possible by these capabilities.

Make to Learn is the official web site of the FabNet fabrication network. This web site provides information about resources related to making and makerspaces. It also provides access to prototypes of Invention Kits while they are under development. Once kits have been piloted and evaluated, they are also made available on the Smithsonian X 3D web site. Members of the FabNet network who have contributed to this effort are listed below.

Core Design Team

  • National Museum of American History
    Smithsonian Institution
  • Digitization Program Office
    Smithsonian Institution
  • Curry School of Education
    University of Virginia
  • Joseph Henry Project
    Princeton University
  • Machine Tools Program
    Midlands Technical College
  • Buford Engineering Design Academy
    Laboratory School for Advanced Manufacturing
    Charlottesville City Schools
  • Sutherland Engineering Design Academy
    Laboratory School for Advanced Manufacturing
    Albemarle County Public Schools

School – University Partnerships (beta test sites)

  • Local Schools affiliated with
    James Madison University
  • Local Schools Affiliated with the
    University of North Texas
  • Local School Affiliated with the
    Tuscarora Intermediate Resource Center, Pennsylvania

Educational Associations and Academic Research Centers

  • International Technology and Engineering Educators Association
  • Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education
  • Association for Educational Communications and Technology
  • National Technology Leadership Coalition
  • Center for Technology and Learning, Iowa State University
  • Center for Literacy and Reading Instruction, University of Buffalo
  • Built Environment Research Group, Illinois Institute of Technology

Corporate Partners and Entrepreneurs

  • Afinia: 3D Printers
  • Canon USA: Imaging and Printing Products
  • CMI Specialty Products: Ferrous Materials
  • Eastman Chemical: 3D Printer Filaments
  • Epilog: Laser Cutters
  • Ernest Packaging Solutions: Cardboard Design
  • FableVision Learning: Educational Software
  • Northrop Grumman: Control Systems and Aviation Products
  • PASCO Scientific: Science Education Software and Hardware
  • Silhouette America: Digital Die Cutters
  • Peggy Healy Stearns: Educational Software Design
  • Roger Wagner: Educational Hardware and Software Development