The new fabrication (FAB) lab at Darlington School District is now in action, and helping students on the path to engineering degrees and careers.
Several new pieces of equipment for the lab were approved for purchase by the school board back in the spring of the year, and have since been set up in a space at the Darlington Elementary/Middle School.
Darlington’s FAB lab now has four 3D printers, a 3D scanner, a laser cutter/engraver, a computer numeric controlled (CNC) mill and a vinyl cutter. One of the 3D printers, the scanner, laser cutter, CNC mill and vinyl cutter were all purchased and set up for operation over the summer, after the board’s approval.
Since then the FAB lab has been used by the middle school and high school engineering classes and middle school technology classes.
According to Roger Zee, technical education teacher, the FAB lab allows students to use tools and programs in prototyping and product development that are actually used in the professional engineering field.
“Working in the lab in these classes prepares a student for a career in engineering and allows them to see if it is a good fit,” said Zee. “They can then continue their education in either a four year college or a two year college to prepare for a profession in the field of engineering..”
The lab also allows students the opportunity to complete the Autodesk Inventor User certification, which is a national certification for the Inventor 3D Engineering program.
“The state of Wisconsin deems this certification as a high needs certification, and the school district receives $1,000 for each student that passes this rigorous test,” said Zee.
So far, two students have been awarded this certification at Darlington Schools: Zach Wolf and Lexie Zee.