FAB11 Making an Impact

FabLabs Around the World

This week it’s all about FAB11, the digital fabrication conference that welcomes 500 FAB LABS to share their history, ideas and dreams, teaching the world that they can make almost anything.

SolidWorks tshirts at Fab11

Directors of Fab Labs share their stories of community, education and entrepreneurship.  SOLIDWORKS is the founding CAD partner of the Fab Foundation and is helping out at the event.

Dancing at Fab11

Every morning the audience stands up to “fabercize” in cultural dance that causes the entire room to laugh and loosen up for a busy day.

The conference is divided into many parts.  Early morning you hear stories about successes of Fab Labs, followed by a panel of top professionals in the field of robotics, digital media and biotechnology.

In the afternoon, there are workshops in making clothing, music, electronics, and on designing with SOLIDWORKS.

SolidWorks Workshop at Fab11

My colleagues Ryan Koehler and Jeremy Harrington helped out with the SOLIDWORKS 101 for Fab Lab and Fab Academies to help fabbers get started with SOLIDWORKS.  Ben Nuebel from Cherokee Trail High School Fab Lab  hosted a workshop on growing from SOLIDWORKS to every digital fabrication machine in his Colorado Fab Lab and SallyE from Shopbot Tools talks on how to take your SOLIDWORKS model into a ShopBot.

Craig talks about SOLIDWORKS MBD

Craig Therrien, product manager for SOLIDWORKS, shows  how SOLIDWORKS saves time and money by helping you upfront in the design process with  Model Based Definition, SOLIDWORKS Costing, and design tips before manufacturing.

FormLabs at Fab11

It great to see SOLIDWORKS customer FormLabs sharing their stories.


You can walk around the MIT campus and see innovation from Fab Labs.  Shelter 2.0 from the Eastern Shores of Virginia www.shelter20.com, designed a “quick to assemble”shelter after disaster strikes.  By afternoon, I was talking with Dalia from Peru about creating a floating Fab Lab along the Amazon River.

Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.  This weekend August 9/10, Fab Fest is held at Boston’s Reggie Lewis Center and is open to the public.  For more information on Fab11, go to Fab11.org.  Marie

Marie Planchard

Marie Planchard

Senior Director, Early Engagement, 3DEXPERIENCE Works at Dassault Systemes
Marie Planchard is an education and engineering advocate. As Senior Director of Education & Early Engagement, SOLIDWORKS, she is responsible for global development of content and social outreach for the 3DEXPERIENCE Works products across all levels of learning including educational institutions, Fab Labs, and entrepreneurship.
Marie Planchard