We asked some of our makers, “How has Fab Lab SD impacted and inspired you?”
“To be honest, Fab Lab is a godsend. Having the equipment and having the access to it and the time and the room to use it- it’s been huge. It’s allowed me to make tons of progress and reduce my stress tremendously.
I don’t want to have a normal corporate job… I’m fighting hard to write my own story and Fab Lab is a huge part of me being able to do that.”
— Soren Nielsen, Entrepreneur
“I think what Fab Lab does is it has a role of growing a bit of a community. Literally, the people part of it and not the equipment and learning part of it, per say. This is almost an under-promoted part of this. I kind of feel that one of the things that is quite hard to generate and is missing in a lot of places is a critical mass of interest, excitement, and motivation around crossroads of technology and maker-specific interests and areas of activity. And unless you have a place and some sort of attraction for people to gather around these specific topics, the critical mass doesn’t generate. So, I think the particular interest for me is Fab Lab’s almost accidental angle for creating a particular social hub for people who are attracted to certain topics, and they’re gathered together and they sort of reinforce each other’s interests. That’s the function that really attracts me.”
— Graham Wideman, Hobbyist and Geek-in-Residence
“I came from a do-it-yourself sort of thing. When I started making my toys years ago, I just went out to the shop and started playing with the tools. I figured I’d just learn how to do it. And then I’d be talking to people and they’d say, ‘Oh, you’re such a genius! I cannot create; I can’t do a thing.’ Well, all you do is you just do it! Fab Lab is a place where you do it. And if your curiosity is piquing one way and somebody here has expertise, they can share that expertise. I think the more we can get that down into the school level, I think that just makes a smarter society.”
— Sharon Clausson, Entrepreneur
“My internship at Fab Lab helped me a lot with preparing for what I actually want to do. I want to do outreach to get other people into engineering. I want to engineer also, but if I think about what I really want to accomplish, it’s getting other people to feel comfortable with it. I got lucky with growing up with it around, but I have a lot of friends who are brilliant, but afraid of STEM careers in general, and I just want to get that fear over and really get a lot more women into engineering.
Fab Lab really helps women… I mean, it got me into engineering. It certainly gave me the push to be like, ‘Oh, I can actually build robots?’ Which I never thought in a million years I would actually be able to do before Fab Lab. So, it definitely makes a huge difference.”
— Belle Holder, Hobbyist
“I like Fab Lab because they do unique productivity, such as laser cutting, 3D printing, and vinyl cutting. So, I come here to use the machines to improve the presentability and productivity of the projects that I work on. I do that and I just see such dramatic improvements every time I go to Fab Lab.”
— Andrew Gelm, Hobbyist
“I’ve been a maker for a while and if you’re not connected with other makers, you’re going to feel like you’re always going uphill. Being able to get ideas on how to do things and not feel like you’re just kind of trying to discover things on your own… There’s always going to be someone here at Fab Lab who has done something similar, and so you go into it with a lot more confidence that you’re doing the right thing. That’s what’s a big deal to me, is the collaboration.”
— Chris Anderson, Hobbyist
“Fab Lab is all about giving without demanding something in return. The people who come to open labs and the classes are the same. They want to help each other out for the sake of helping, and you don’t really see that normally. It’s easy to think about yourself and say, ‘What’s in it for me?’ but that’s not what FabLab is about. We give, we help, we provide a service to the community that is truly making a positive change.”
— Kevin Herrera, Geek in Residence
“I’m really trying to promote STEM education right now. I believe in that and I think that going into the future, I want to continue working with that and promoting that. That’s going to be something that I think is always going to be needed and that’s always going to be useful for people. So being able to get that more into the mainstream and just get it so it will be where it needs to be, so everybody is doing this. This needs to be a standard. It needs to not be the ‘new thing.’ It needs to not be a new fad. It needs to be the standard.
I kind of see it as a mutual partnership, where we’re working together toward that same goal. Working at Fab Lab has not only helped me develop my skills in teaching, but also getting to work with some of these different technologies, and also because in my opinion, the STEM technology doesn’t just incorporate educating in schools, I think that also the community-based education where we’re doing weekend workshops and letting the community come in and learn how to use some of these things really makes it where everybody is learning this technology, not just if you attend our classes. I think it’s working together to accomplish those goals.”
— Jeremy Bank, Jack-of-all-trades