Fab Lab Makers

Since the lab is going to be closed over winter break, the Fab Lab Makers will host an open lab for youth on the 14th of December instead of the 21st. If you are between the ages of 10 and 16, grab a responsible adult and come out to the lab. You can personalize an ornament or bring in a project of your own to work on. If you have any questions you can email the Youth Council at cucflyc(at)

Winter Break Closures

Revised 01.03.2014-

The Fab Lab will be closed for the winter holidays! Our last open day will be Sunday December 22nd and we will reopen on Tuesday January 7th. Have a great break!


If you have never heard of printcraft, it is a creative server for minecraft. Minecraft is a sandbox game where you break and place blocks of various materials. Printcraft is one of the many ways that players of minecraft can create an STL file of the things they create. This means they can physically print the things they create in the game. What makes printcraft different is that it converts the standard minecraft block, 1mx1mx1m, into a 2mmx2mmx2mm block when creating the STL file. This means that you can build things to scale and for specific purposes. While it is still used primarily by players who want physical copies of their favorite game elements, it is an excellent way to introduce youth to the idea of designing real world objects in 3D. So far I have printed new usb drive cases, have drawn a holder for my tv remote controls, and printed a Tardis that my 14 year old son drew.


Fab Lab Closed for Thanksgiving (November 26th and 28th)

The Fab Lab will be closed on Tuesday Novenber 26th and Thursday November 28th.

The Lab will resume normal operation on Sunday December 1st.

Have a great Thanksgiving Day!

Circuit Scribe: Draw Circuits Instantly

A project started (in part) by a Fab Lab patron and UIUC Material Sciences researcher, Analisa Russo, Circuit Scribe is an easy way to get into learning circuits on paper and get around breadboard learning techniques. Learn more (and donate, if you like) here:

I believe a few of us are going to pick a version up for the main lab and TUFL to test and play with. More on the project at

Ink and Paper Circuits

Circuit stickers, referred by Betty Barrett:

Ink-jet based circuits, referred by Dean Rose:

"Hybrid Basketry"

Possibly of interest to some of you, “hybrid basketry”,  “a medium where 3D-printed structures are shaped to allow the growth and development of hand-woven patterns.”   Example product

This work was presented at SIGGRAPH 2013, published in:

Hybrid Basketry: Interweaving Digital Practice within Contemporary CraftAmit Zoran, Leonardo , Vol. 46, No. 4, LEONARDO SPECIAL ISSUE: SIGGRAPH 2013 Art Papers and XYZN: ScaleArt Gallery (2013), pp. 324-331 [PDF]

Other works by Zoran can be viewed at:

A night of creativity

Hear from individuals about how they incorporate creativity into their daily lives, participate in some creative activities, and eat some treats!


Smithsonian Webcast on 3D scanning 13-14 Nov.

Possibly of interest to some of you, a webcast from the Smithsonian about 3D scanning and modeling.

If you are interested, the webcast will be running in the Media Commons (top floor of the Undergraduate Library). 

For more info, contact Jamie A. Nelson (UIUC CITES).

Rapid Prototyping Idea from IDEO Lab

Jeff posted a note about the interesting prototyping work coming out of GSLIS

In a similar vein, check out a similar prototyping concept from IDEO lab: a video prototype for iphone app which takes it to the next level.

 What you want to see is the "secret".

Shouldn't we have a collection of these?

Paper Prototyping Level Up

Members of the GSLIS "Entrepreneurship and IT Design" course have created a new way to do paper prototyping - with more realistic mobile device holders. You can use these prototype frames to test devices in different use contexts, for instance holding a large tablet for one-handed use while walking and holding a bag. How far will your thumb reach?

Includes files for paper inserts to cut or draw (with those little color pens!) on the Silhouette and frames to cut out on the laser. Everything for download at:


Modular Phones

Motorola recently announced a new phone they are developing. You can read about it here. I find it interesting that the announcement came so soon after Dave Hakkens started promoting his idea for Phonebloks. I really look forward to seeing where this project goes. It would be fun to develop a module for your own phone.

Fab Lab Makers Pumpkin Carving




The plan for today had been to make some halloween decorations using the vinyl cutter, 3D printer, and Epilog. Instead, having been inspired by a question from one of our participants, we decided to try carving a pumpkin with the Epilog. We used medium sized pie pumpkins so that they would actually fit in theepilog. Our first attempt was using a bumpier, more traditional looking pumpkin. It got stuck and slipped couple of times so we cancelled the print. Our second pumpkin had a much smoother, more rounded outside. That combined with moving the rollers closer together made for a much smoother rotation.

Laser Carved Pumpkin

Howards with pumpkin

The Saturday Morning Kid's Science Club tried their hand at laser carving a pumpkin. 

Turns out it takes a lot to carve a pumpkin with a laser, but the results might be worth the effort. 



Interested in finding a makerspace near you? Try the makermap -

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