Prototyping & Fabrication
The “maker movement” has increased accessibility to STEM technology, igniting a do-it-yourself mindset among students and community members alike. Here at S-lab, we strive to reinforce this mindset. We recognize that in order to produce truly impactful innovation, students must have foundational knowledge and interaction with the different areas that encompass sustainability. This means getting your hands dirty and delving into the iterative process of design and prototyping. Whether your work here at UCSC has been in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Arts, or STEM fields, hands-on experience and the ability to rapidly create will accelerate innovation and provide a basis for flexibility when it comes to optimization.
S-lab is situated at the nexus between a dedicated Makerspace and supported research into community-level sustainability. This suite of tutorials and modules is designed as an entry point into the creative environment of the maker movement; when combined with the other resources offered by S-lab, learners can be supported beyond tinkering and into practices that solve real problems.
Modules under this heading act as introductory tutorials to get you started on our prototyping and fabrication equipment quickly and safely. They span a breadth of topics: from Introductory CAD for 3D Fabrication, to Metal Machining in our S-lab Machine Shop, all the way to materials characterization and growth in the Solar Cells Materials and Devices module. In many cases, satisfactory completion of the modules are required before access to equipment is even an option; as such, they are mainly taught as individual sessions on an as needed basis.