Week 6 Reflection: CU Fab Lab Pt. 1

As I looked up from my phone’s GPS, I confusingly stared at the building ahead. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was it. I made my way around the building to the main entrance and was immediately greeted by a white, hefty door with the words Fab Lab written on it. This was it. I didn’t expect much going in solely because of the building’s unimpressive appearance, but you know what they say? Appearances can be deceiving and this idiom rings especially true for Champaign Urbana’s Fab Lab. Needless to say, they put the “fab” in fabulous.

The Fab Lab, which is short for Fabrications Laboratory, is divided into three unique sections:  fabrications, electronic resources, and design. Before we toured the entire building, we were given a brief presentation as to what the Fab Lab does. Its mission is to provide an open and collaborative environment for makers to imagine, design, and create using open source software and DIY equipment. As soon as the presentation concluded, our class was divided into two groups to tour each workspace in its entirety. There were so many vastly different, cool items found in each respective section! However, there was one item that specifically caught my eye, which can be found below:


Once the tour finished, groups were assigned to different workstations. Fortunately, I was placed into the fabrications section, which meant that I got to walk out of class with a custom-made, embroidered item! After perusing online, I chose to design a film camera. However, there were various modifications that had to be made on it. I condensed the image into five colors and thickened the lines to create distinguished segments of the piece. Now, it was ready to go! Check out the video below of my design getting embroidered onto the fabric:


By learning the embroidering process, I can create and modify objects to my liking. This can be especially useful in creating logos that can be sewn onto various types of clothing. Overall, the experience has proven to be quite challenging and fun! I’ve gained technical skills from playing around with the modifying software, which may come in handy in the near future. Now, I want to expand my knowledge of embroidery and fabrications. I want to continue dabbling into this newfound interest of mine! Hopefully, I can do so in next week’s class.

2 thoughts on “Week 6 Reflection: CU Fab Lab Pt. 1

  1. The embroidery looks really neat! Did you get to try out some of the sewing-circuitry stuff?

  2. What you made looks super cool! Do you have a picture of the finished product?

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