University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Workshops

Our workshops allow you to explore the tools the Lab has to offer at your own pace.

We host a variety of workshops for groups of kids (ages 9+) or undergraduates students that can be arranged on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, teachers, 4-H leaders, librarians and other youth educators can book specialized professional development training sessions to learn Fab Lab technologies and techniques, including how we run specific workshops and camps.

Subject to lab and staff availability

Fab Lab Weekend workshops are for people 18+ who want to learn how to use the tools and machines in the lab by creating a project they get to take home! Learn by doing and gain confidence in your making skills every Saturday afternoon. Click on the graphic above to sign up, or if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us!

No current weekend workshop offerings at this time.

UNIVERSITY Students

Interested in incorporating hands-on learning of advanced fabrication tools and resources into your course? The Fab Lab offers a variety of workshops in coordination with UIUC classes. To schedule or request additional information in regards to a UIUC Class Workshop, please email the number of students, suggested dates, and your project’s learning objectives to communityfablab@gmail.com.

Subject to lab and staff availability

Workshops: What You Need To Know

  • Our minimum workshop time is 1.5 hours.
    • If your group needs to do a workshop in under 1 hour we can offer a tour, which includes demos and Q&A time, but no projects where participants actually make something. 
    • Group tours are a flat rate of $40 on weekdays, $80 on weekends, and we can also emphasize a certain tool or topic, such as libraries, entrepreneurship, storytelling or 3D printing.
  • The minimum age is 9 for our workshops, though some activities may be better suited to older participants. If you are not sure if a participant is ready for a workshop at the Fab Lab, consult our computer skills guidelines.
  • We typically host groups of 12 or less, larger groups can be accommodated with special arrangements (max 30 participants) . Groups over 15 may be divided into smaller groups due to space and tool limitations in the lab. Our typical instructor-to-learner ratio is one to four.
  • Workshops cost $10 per participant / per hour. Workshop cost includes materials*, machine time, and guided instruction.
    • Materials for some workshops may exceed our standard materials allotment per workshop. These are typically things that are more expensive or not frequently stocked in the lab (examples: Arduino Unos, Micro:bits, Makey Makeys, etc.). The workshops most likely to incur additional expenses are marked as such and will be discussed when setting up the workshop with Lab staff.
  • We also do workshops for community members, and are especially interested in providing professional development for teachers and youth educators. 
  • If you would like to run your own workshop and have unusual setup needs, such as assistance with curriculum development or teaching, preparing the space for messy materials or installation of software that’s not on our spec we will adjust the workshop fee to compensate for the additional staff hours required.
 

Workshop Reservations

TO SCHEDULE, EMAIL US AT COMMUNITYFABLAB@GMAIL.COM

Please include which workshop you’re interested in, preferred dates and times, and who the workshop is for (# of people, age range, experience, interests), as well as a contact name, email, and phone number.

Reservation Policy

  • Once a Workshop request email has been submitted, a lab staff member will correspond with you to work out and finalize the event details
  • Once the event is finalized, you will need to deposit half of the estimated cost of the workshop at least one (1) week in advance to reserve the workshop.
  • Payments can be made in-person at the lab or via our online form.
    • We can accept checks (made out to The University of Illinois) and credit card as payment for workshops, as well as UIUC unit account transfers (CFOPS). 
    • We are unable to access RSO bank accounts or charge student accounts.
  • You may cancel for a full refund if you contact us at least one (1) week before your workshop is scheduled.
 

General Workshop Offerings

Workshop offerings are subject to lab capacity and staff availability. 

Lasercraft 101

Find out about cutting and engraving with one of our most advanced tools by making a simple key chain or engraved notebook 1.5 to 2 hours | Ages 9+

Griffin Stickers

Envision and describe a mythical animal, then learn to use Inkscape and Silhouette electronic cutters to make a sticker of it 1.5 to 2 hours | Ages 9+

Methods in 3D printing

Explore the world of 3D printing, including the mechanics and materials of FDM printers and methods for creating 3D models, such as organic and geometric design. 1.5 to 2 hours | Ages 9+

Introduction to Electronics

Dive into the basics of computer hardware by learning to control LED lights with the Arduino platform. We may also be able to offer alternative versions of this workshop featuring Makey Makey, or Micro:bit rather than Arduino. *Please note: microcontrollers (Arduinos, Makey Makeys, &/ Micro:bits) will not be able to be taken home by participants 1.5 to 2 hours | Ages 9+

Design with Tablets

Learn how to use graphic drawing tablets to digitize sketches and then engrave them on to glasses, notebooks and other materials 1.5 to 3 hours | Ages 9+

Copper Tape Circuits

Design paper pop-up cards or laser-cut wooden constellation panels and then learn how to light them up with LED's and copper tape circuits 1.5 to 4 hours | Ages 10+

Papercrafts

Advanced art and engineering activities with paper and other materials like vinyl. Papercraft workshops may include activities such as paper automata, multi-layer stickers, layered bristol art, and more. 1.5 to 4 hours | Ages 9+ | Possible additional materials fee

Laser This!

We have a range of advanced activities groups can explore with the laser engraving, including making press-fit objects like birdhouses, etching tumbler glasses, unusual jewelry and more! 2 to 4 hours | Ages 9+ | Possible additional materials fee

Pom Pom Robots

Glue together a cute robot creature and then modify code in order to make it move with an Arduino microcontroller 2 to 3 hours | Ages 9+

Screen Printing

Use Silhouette Electronic cutters to create custom designs to use with wooden-frame-mesh screens in order to create a screen-printed T-shirt or bag. 2 to 2.5 hours | Ages 9+ | May require an additional materials fee

Patch Design

Patch Design First learn about the connection between textile arts and computer science, then create iron-on patches with digital embroidery machines 2.5 to 3 hours | Ages 9+

RPG Game Design

RPG Game Design A crash course in the basics of making role-playing videogames with RPG Maker MV, a small sample of our summer camp 3 to 4 hours | Ages 10+

Workshops by Special Arrangement

  • Minecraft3D Printing – build virtual 3D models in Minecraft and turn them into real objects with 3D printing (2 to 4 hours, ages 9+)
  • Name Tag Bling – create an outstanding looking name tag by remixing existing business card designs and leveraging advanced materials like two-tone acrylic, LED lights and layered vinyl (2 to 3 hours; possible additional materials fee, ages 9+)
  • Something New – tell us what you’d like us to help you learn at the Fab Lab and we’ll see what we can do about it!

Join us for Boneyard Arts Festival

Local games, artists, and family friendly activities! 

This event will take the place of our usual open hours. Open hours will resume on Monday.

Sunday, April 14th
10AM-5PM