About Fab Lab Houston

History of Fab Lab Houston

Back in 2014 when BakerRipley was invited to East Aldine it wasn’t initially to establish a Fab Lab. The goal was to discover the strengths of East Aldine residents, learn about their aspirations and partner with community leaders and residents to craft a collective vision and plan to bring it to fruition.

Through a series of 140 in-depth interviews and several focus groups, many residents talked about the need for informal learning activities that could prepare young people for the future. They talked about teaching youth “more science” and exposing them to “more technical fields [like] computer science, computer arts, marketing and IT — because that is where the future is headed.”

Now, because of the community’s strong desire to expose young people to the latest STEM tools and technology, and the generous support of Chevron and Fab Foundation, Fab Lab Houston will be located in the new 62 acre East Aldine Town Center as a part of the BakerRipley East Aldine Campus opening Summer 2018. Chevron and BakerRipley share a common vision — investing in Human Capital Energy and Human capital.

About BakerRipley East Aldine Campus located at the East Aldine Town Center

The new BakerRipley East Aldine Campus is a place of welcome, engagement and collaboration where neighbors can enjoy a variety of holistic programs, resources and services. Individuals of all ages – from youth to seniors – will have access to tools and equipment for digital fabrication in the Fab Lab Houston. Entrepreneurs will learn how to start or expand their business, adults will find continuing education opportunities and youth will be able to develop their leadership skills.

Fueled by the entrepreneurial spirit of East Aldine, the center will be a place for neighbors to learn, make and sell – a unique hub for innovators of all ages.

The space will also be available to reserve for meetings, clubs, classes and social gatherings at an affordable rate.

Fab Lab Houston Design Principles

Fab Lab Houston will…
1. Cultivate a community of makers to build the capacity of Fab Lab Houston to its full potential.
2. Create equitable opportunities that empower individuals to contribute to their community’s growth.
3. Reflect the culture of the community with its facilities, programs and staff.
4. Spark innovation through creative collaboration.
5. Support entrepreneurs from idea to product prototype.
6. Provide students with resources and opportunities for educational advancement.
7. Support teachers with instructional opportunities and resources.
8. Provide skills, knowledge, and certification for enterprising work.

FAQ

Is my child too young?

Participants in Fab Lab Houston programs are required to be at least 16 years old to attend without being accompanied by their guardian. Adults can attend workshops with their children under 16. It should be noted that younger children may require extra assistance since workshops are geared towards specific age ranges indicated during workshops signup.

What hours is Fab Lab Houston open?

Once open in July, Fab Lab Houston will be open Monday-Saturday.

Monday – Thursday: 10:00am – 8:00pm
Friday – Saturday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

Community Day: Thursday

What is a Fab Lab?

• A Fab Lab is a fabrication laboratory for innovation, learning and invention: a place to play, to create, to learn, to mentor, to invent.
• To be a Fab Lab means connecting to a global community of learners, educators, technologists, researchers, makers and innovators- -a knowledge sharing network that spans 30 countries and 24 time zones. Because all Fab Labs share common tools and processes, the program is building a global network of Fab Labs.
• A Fab Lab includes 3-D printers, laser cutters that makes 2D and 3D structures;, a large CNC wood router for building furniture and housing, a sign cutter that plots in copper to make antennas and flex circuits, supplies to make molds for casting parts, tools to produce, assemble and program circuit board, and 3D scanners to digitize objects so that they can be transmitted and replicated.

What tools are in Fab Lab Houston?

Digital Fabrication:
4’x8′ CNC Router, Desktop CNC Mill, 18″x24″ Laser Cutters, Vinyl Cutter, 3D Printers

Wood:
Table Saw, Miter Saw, Jointer, Planer, Nail Gun, Compressor, Sander, Drill, Router, Band Saw

Metal:
Welder, Plasma Cutter, Bench Grinder, Polishing Wheel, Brake, Horizontal Bandsaw, Chop Saw

Textile:
Embroidery Machine, Sewing Machine, Screen Printing Equipment,

Who is Fab Lab Houston for?

Fab Lab Houston is for everyone! We are working hard to develop programs and opportunities for students, teachers, community members and entrepreneurs to utilize the Fab Lab to create and learn.

Why pay for a membership when there is a FREE membership option?

The free membership allows community members an opportunity to register for free workshops and use equipment they have been trained on during Community Days, currently Thursdays. The Free Membership doesn’t allow individuals open access on other days.

The paid membership options allow members to reserve equipment and utilize Fab Lab Houston during any open hours throughout the week.