School Fab Lab Virtual Reality makes it possible for anyone to experience a digital fabrication laboratory from anywhere, using virtual reality! The School Fab Lab Virtual Reality App (SFL VR App) will shortly be available from the STEAM market for the HTC Vive. To receive updates, register HERE.
Immersed in the Fabrication Laboratory (Fab Lab), you interact with machines, learning how to use them and what can be created. It replicates an environment simulating a physical presence where you can delve into different stations and learn about various digital fabrication processes.
Intended to reach any student, K-12 school, or educational institution, SFL VR provides knowledge and training on digital fabrication without requiring physical access to the machines or space. For example, students can build 3D printers, or learn how to fly drones. Watch this video to see the virtual reality process.
The School Fab Lab Virtual Reality App allows you to:
- 3D Print, Laser Cut, Vinyl Cut, and CNC Mill various objects out of a multitude of materials
- Pick up objects to examine what you build
- Find pre-selected objects online to bring into the VR space
- Learn how to assemble and disassemble 3D printers
- Learn to fly a drone with flight simulation using first-person-view (FPV)
- Learn about machine operation and the digital fabrication process
- Learn about additive and subtractive manufacturing
- Learn how to navigate in a 3D space
- Understand object physics and dynamics
- Understand space design and layout
In the case of the Ultimaker 3D printer, the newly created SFL VR App allows a virtual hand to select the “Disassemble” button – and then the Ultimaker pieces separate into mid-air. The hand presses “Assemble” and the pieces float back into shape as before.
Other machines in the School Fab Lab Makerspace stations to experience on the SFL VR App include a Laser Cutter, a Drone, and the MakerBot 3D Printer.
The machines in the SFL VR App are just like the ones found in the physical School Fab Lab Makerspaces built at St. Joseph High School and Fontbonne Hall Academy, both in Brooklyn, New York. Students there are able to use the actual 3D printers to create items, of course – but the VR version takes things one step further. Students can see the machine from the inside out… Perhaps learn how to assemble a real one for themselves… And certainly, they might gain the knowledge and courage to make more complicated items in reality.
If you want to build a Makerspace, this environment helps you to understand machine size, space required, and layout in respect to your physical space.