Fab Lab Hits the Scene at South by Southwest

Workforce |  2 min. read

If you’re headed to this year’s South by Southwest, you might run into Japanese Breakfast, the Joy Formidable, Fab Lab or Walkney.

But only three of those are going to be on stage.  Want to guess which of the four is the odd one out?



So you might see Fab Lab at SXSW, but no, it isn’t a band.*

A Fab Lab really is a lab – in this case, a mobile fabrication (that’s the “fab”, though they are pretty fabulous too) laboratory.

In Austin, the fab experience will be courtesy of Chevron’s Fab Lab Permian Basin mobile lab  (Chevron sponsors 10 fab labs, at locations around the country).  On board?  3D printers, laser cutters, milling machines, CNC routers , work benches and some serious computing power – all packed into a 27-foot trailer.

Most of the time mobile Fab Labs are on the road, bringing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning and tools to students in schools that don’t have those labs, those tools, those opportunities.  The kids are learning STEM, by doing STEM.  But this month, the Fab Lab will be spreading the word about the program to teachers and other folks working in education (and yes, technically, it will be appearing at the SXSW EDU Festival, which then leads into its better known sibling, the music SXSW).

Want to see more about the Fab Lab?  Take a look here.

Want to see a bit of the “other” SXSW?  Here’s a taste of Japanese Breakfast.

(*But thinking about it, “Fab Lab” would make an excellent name for a band.  Industrial rock, or  a band with a trippy, psychedelic sound.  Or maybe – maybe it ought to be a truly experimental band – no musicians, just a group of autonomous instruments, playing themselves on stage.  If you’re the musical sort, we turn that idea over to you.)