Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab)
The facility includes a fully equipped machine shop incorporating high specification wood processing machinery, as well as a full range of power tools and hand tools. A number of workbenches are available within the newly constructed assembly space, where students can work on projects, whilst having access to all the facilities have to offer.
The assembly space is often utilized for group work and assembly of large scale models and life size projects. A full range of everyday consumables such as adhesives, abrasives and fasteners are well stocked. The workshop is also equipped with a small shop for students to purchase card and other laser cutting materials.
The workshop has a strong focus on digital technology and boasts a high end CNC router and a large format CO2 laser cutter. Vacuum forming machines and 3D printers are available to students, for use with materials including PLA and ABS; as well as new cutting edge thermoplastic extrusion, such as nylons and terracotta. A range of associated machine software is available on dedicated PC terminals within the workshop.
The space has the capacity to accommodate machining and processing of some metals and plastics, with a CNC wire bending machine and saws capable of processing non-ferrous metals. The FabLab is constantly adapting and growing as new technology becomes available, with new machines being added all the time.
The Robotics laboratory is located in the building adjacent to the FabLab and houses three ABB industrial robot arms. The largest of the robotic arms has a 185kg payload and is equipped with a robust milling spindle. The robot is moved by a 4.2-meter track, extending its range and capabilities. Two smaller ABB robots are fixed to a custom fabricated machining station.
The laboratory includes the operational space, a control room and a dedicated viewing room for student and industry groups. The machining station is flexibly designed to allow the smaller fixed robots to be repurposed quickly, as projects demand.
The purchase of the robots was made possible through the generous support of the School’s benefactor, Dr Soheil Abedian.
The FabLab and RobotLab, implement structured training and comprehensive safety protocols. Student training is managed and documented in a third party online training database. The smaller class sizes mean that students have access to one-on-one training and support and consequently, become competent very quickly. The FabLab and RobotLab are staffed at all times by experts in fabrication techniques, software and technology. They are available to assist students to gain the confidence and knowledge required to safely and competently tackle projects of all sizes.