Fabricating Good Times

Laser cutters, rotuers, 3D printers, plasma cutters…these things and more are found at the
CCBC Fabrication Lab. The STEM class took a trip to the “Fab Lab” to use the Epilog Laser cutter where students created a unique project using the machine. 
“Going to the Fab Lab has been one of the best experiences I’ve had at Mount de Sales. It really helps enhance the learning process to see some practical application of things we’re learning in the STEM field,” said Maddy Kersetter ’15. 
The machine works by both cutting and engraving images into a material, such as glass, wood, or cardboard, using a special CO2 laser. Each student created a computer aided design on Adobe Illustrator, which they then either engraved on or cut out of their material using the laser.
The lab itself is alive with the constant humming of machinery, and an oddly open space for the number of things held within it. Computers are available for people to use if they wish to work on their designs, and then the fabrication machines all have a computer nearby from which the design can be ‘printed’ when they are finalized.
As an added bonus, anyone can receive a membership after paying sixty dollars and taking an introductory class there to learn how to use the equipment. Once that is done, people can use the machines on times when the school opens the lab to the public, normally bringing their own materials to do so for most of the appliances, though some are provided for a fee. 
The school also offers a ‘Workshop Wednesday’ series every week on Wednesday evenings, times when the lab is open to all members, and provide classes in making different things on a certain machine for the night, such as the class on making jewelry using the laser cutters they taught recently.  Depending on the class, materials are often provided by CCBC for people to use. 
Mount de Sales girls first went to an intro class in October to learn the basics of using the laser where they all made small key chain ornaments with an image of their choice on it. They later followed up that visit on November 12, this time bringing their own materials and original design to fabricate using the machine.  While most girls were able to make their design on the laser cutter, due to time constraints, some made stickers while others are waiting until the next visit on November 24 to complete their project.
“It’s the coolest thing ever. I always wondered how they engraved glass and to see it be done in front of me is insane. I love it,” said senior Emily Geppi.
Seniors Emma Greene and Faith Reed created a design  engraved into the backs of their art journals that appears, when put together, to connect from one to the other. Jenna Rusk (’15) carved her name and an beautiful image on to a piece of glass, and Maddy Kersetter created a box out of cardboard that she plans to make again out of wood the next time the students are there.
Their final visit will consist of finishing their original projects from the last time as well as making vinyl stickers with a design of their choice.  

A. Rittie ’15
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