The FabLab (fabrication laboratory) is a world class facility at the NWU Faculty of Engineering which makes it possible for users – from school pupils to engineers – to design and build almost any idea. From elaborate laser-cut wedding invitations to high-tech gear systems. The FabLab contains and consists of various off-the-shelf, industrial grade fabrication and electronics tools, wrapped in open source software and programs.
The FabLab gives communities in the North-West Province access to manufacturing technologies and thus supports general innovation and fabrication in the small to medium enterprise sector.
The aim of the FabLab at the NWU Potchefstroom Campus is not only to provide an infrastructure for innovators to solve problems, but also to develop human resources and share cross cutting skills. We encourage community interaction by inviting learners from the community’s schools to participate in activities. Here, we give them the freedom to explore and experiment as this can stimulate the creativity that leads to invention. This experience and exposure develops their computer skills and advances their ability to manufacture their design ideas according to scale.
The FabLab is bringing about a new dimension in engineering and helping to strengthen the innovative spirit of the University. Access to the laboratory encourages learners’ excitement about science and technology, which will ultimately benefit the economic sectors that are experiencing labour shortages.
The following machines and equipment are used in the FabLab:
- Laser Cutter
- Vinyl Cutter
- Modela Milling Machine
- Electronic Work Bench
- 3D printer