New changes are coming to the Fabrications Lab at Lorain County Community College. The Fab Lab provides accessibility to machines that allow for projects that individuals would not be able to do otherwise. The new changes will seek to improve all aspects of the lab and enhance the learning experience.
“The biggest change is that it is going to be larger,” said Timothy Bruening, an LCCC professor that teaches in the Fab Lab. “The new lab will have enhanced audio and computer that will allow for more possibilities.”
The updated Fab Lab will also include a second room that will be attached to the main room.
“We call it ‘messy’ fab,” said Bruening. “We wanted a room that we can work on the wood-cutting projects, but we do not want the dust getting on the computers. I am glad we are able to have a separate room for such projects.”
Bruening also explained some of the new equipment that will be featured in the lab.
“We are going to add a laser vinyl cutter and a new CNC router,” said Bruening. “It all about getting the best equipment we can for the students.”
Scott Zitek, the coordinator of the Fab Lab, stated the significance of the extra space.
“We wanted to include as many students as we could,” said Zitek. “The new lab will allow us to support 16 students. The new lab will have a lot more space and more students will be able to be part of the experience.”
Zitek added that the new Fab Lab will be more accessible.
“There will be a new entrance and a collapsable wall,” said Zitek. “It will be more inviting and will make the lab more accessible to students. People won’t walk in feeling that they are intruding on a class. It will feel more like the library,” Zitek explained.
The extra space will allow for the new machinery, Zitek said.
“The CNC router that was added will allow for many new projects,” said Zitek. “It cost over $30,000 and we now have two of them in the lab. This will allow us to do more projects that take some time to make. This includes things like furniture and cabinets.”
The remodeling of the lab has made new classes available to students, too.
“We will offer intro classes that will teach students how to use the equipment,” said Zitek. “We will also offer two-year in digital fabrication.”
There were several major expenses involved in the project, according to Laura Carissimi, the director of purchasing and financial planning,.
“We had a $2 million grant from the state and we matched that with our own $2 million,” said Carissimi. “We also received $750,000 from the foundation that we used for purchasing new equipment.”
Carissimi explained how the project also increased the size of the building itself.
“We increased the Fab Lab by about a third,” said Carissimi. “There will be a new area that is well vented for working with fiberglass.”
This undertaking has combined the work of several departments, including the Unity Lab on campus. Carissimi added that the Mac Lab will be located in PC208 during the construction and that the final parts of the construction are waiting to be approved by the Board of Trustees during their April 20 meeting.