Fab Academy

Do you want to learn how to make (almost) anything? The Fab Academy Diploma is a 6-month international part-time education program on Fab Lab processes and equipment.

Students learn how to envision, prototype, and document their ideas through many hours of hands-on experience with digital fabrication tools. These tools include electronics fabrication, 2D and 3D modelling, embedded programming and utilization of machines.

The Academy is directed by Neil Gershenfeld, the director of MIT’s Center For Bits and Atoms, and locally supported by our Fab Lab instructors.
Five Fab Academy students presents in Fab Lab premises one of their projects. In front they show a machine they built to peel apples.
Fab Academy students in 2018

Fab Academy in a nutshell

Fab Academy is a distributed educational model providing a unique educational experience. This means that students learn in local workgroups with peers, mentors, and machines; all connected globally by interactive classes and content shared with others. Each Fab Lab participating in the Fab Academy program is a node in the global Fab Lab network.

Students attend a global lecture once per week. During the lecture, students present their weekly work and Prof. Neil Gershenfeld presents basic principles for the weekly projects. During the week students must complete a small project related to a specific field within digital fabricaction. Students can always count on the support of Fab Lab Oulu instructors.

Additionally, the Fab Academy faculty, members of which are leaders in their respective fields, provides global video lectures, supervises academic content, and guides research.

Every Week Fab Academy focuses on a different topic, giving a general view of everything related to digital fabrication:

  • Principles and practices of digital fabrication
  • Project management
  • Computer-aided design
  • Computer-controlled cutting
  • Electronics production
  • 3D scanning and printing
  • Electronics design
  • Computer-controlled machining
  • Embedded programming
  • Mechanical design
  • Machine design
  • Input Devices
  • Molding and Casting
  • Output devices
  • Composites
  • Networking and communications
  • Interface and application programming
  • Applications and implications of digital fabrication
  • Invention, intellectual property and income
  • Project development
  • Project presentation

To complete Fab Academy, students must present a final project in which they should demonstrate the skills they have acquired and the capacity of integrating different topics in the same project.

PCB fabricated in Fab Lab

Fab Academy in practice

Instructions for applying

Fab Academy fee for Fab Lab Oulu is 6000 €.

Some faculties of the University of Oulu offer scholarships that might partially or totally cover the inscription fee. Please consult Fab Lab staff for more information.

You can apply through the Fab Academy Students' application form. It is important to note that filling the form does not imply an acceptation in the program. Each Fab Lab has the final decision on the students they take in. If you are selected, Fab Academy will contact you and give more detailed instructions.

Applications for Fab Academy 2024 are now open. You can apply using this link.