In the News

Making around Boston and In The News

In the News

Making around Boston and In The News

Around Boston

  • Fab Foundation     Founded 2009 out of the MIT Media Lab's Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), it facilitates the creation of Fab Labs all over the world which follow the Fab Foundation model. Provides resources to facilitate funding, setting up a Fab Lab, education models for staff and students, technology access, and a deeply connected communication network between Fab Labs around the world. 
  • NuVu Studio     Cambridge-based high school based on the architectural studio model.  Students use advanced prototyping technology (3D printers, milling machines, electronics production) and work together on 2-3 week schedules to complete meaningful projects with real-world application.
  • Fab Central     MIT-specific website for the MIT Fab Labs and the courses taught by Neil Gershenfeld, PI of the Center for Bits and Atoms. Contains links to classes, instructional resources, and student created pages. View archive of How to Make (Almost) Anything.
  • Lifelong Kindergarden     Another lab in the MIT Media Lab, run by PI Mitch Resnick. The lab focuses on integrating play-like learning and making into all realms of education. LLK and Resnick have worked closely on Lego Mindstorms, and inveted the visual animation programming language Scratch.


Summary Block
This is example content. Double-click here and select a page to feature its content. Learn more

Tools, Techniques, Resources

Tools, Tutorials, Resources

Tools, Techniques, Resources

Tools, Tutorials, Resources

General Tutorials

  • Instructables     Massive database of user-created projects, and instructions for how to recreate them.
  • Make     Make magazine website, includes large library of projects and user-created tutorials.
  •     DIY tutorials and projects created by and for younger learners.
  • Fab Academy Tutorials     General tutorials from Fab Academy, following the progression of the Fab Academy classes. These tutorials also compliment the MIT course How to Make (Almost) Anything. More links: 2015 tutorials, 2015 Videos, class archive (2009-present).
  • MIT + K12     Series of educational media geared towards interesting middle-schoolers in Science and STEM learning. Their Youtube channel has a large list of categorized tutorials 
  • Primitive Technology     A blog and YouTube channel about making shelters, tools, and basic necessities ... with absolutely no tools or technology. An extremely interesting alternative to the high-tech end of making.

3D Scanning

  • Autodesk 123D Catch     3D Scanning app for iPhone, Android, or Tablets. Creates accurate 3D models from photographs taken from the device's camera.
  • Sense     Handheld 3D scanner which creates printable 3D modals from scanning everyday objects. 

3D Model Download

  • Terrain2STL     Quickly and easily export 3D Terrain models from Google Maps, ready for 3D printing or CNC milling.
  • Thingiverse     Repository of user-created free-to-use 3D models, ready for 3D printing. 
  • 123D Catch Gallery     Gallery of scans taken by 123DCatch users and staff. Modals can be 3D printed or modified in design software.

FREE 3D Design Software (CAD)

  • TinkerCAD     Extremely simple CAD software (with built-in tutorials), meant for beginners to CAD. Models created by users are ready to 3D print, and there are libraries of models created by users. Can also import 3D scans from Sense or 123D Catch.
  • Sketchup Make     Free version of Sketchup Pro, this much-simplified CAD software is relatively straightforward and easy for beginners to learn. There is extensive tutorial documentation on their website
  • Meshmixer     
  • Rhinoceros (Free 90-day Trial)     Rhino is a more advanced CAD software, used extensively at the Harvard GSD and other design fields. Free-to-use for 90 days, and student/educator discounts available.
  • Grasshopper     An extension for Rhino, this open-source platform transforms Rhino into parametric design software. 
  • Antimony     Similar to Grasshopper, this parametric design software is being developed by Matt Keeter of the MIT Media Lab. Mac only.
  • Autodesk Fusion360 (30-Day Free Trial)     A relative newcomer, this powerful CAD software is versatile and comparable to Rhinoceros. 

2D Design

  • GIMP     Essentially an open-source, free version of Adobe Photoshop. Powerful image manipulation software for raster images. Users are able to program their own extensions, and there is a large registry of user-programmed plugins. Advanced users can also program their own.
  • Inkscape     Essentially an open-source, free version of Adobe Illustrator. Used for creating vector image files. Among their many uses, vector images are ideal for using with Laser Cutters and CNC milling machines. There is also a large database of user-programmed addons
  • Processing     Coding language developed at MIT in 2001 for creating visual models and animations from code and data. There is an extremely wide variety of projects processing can support. See Processing examples.


  • Arduino     Perhaps the most famous name associated with DIY electronics, Arduinos are relatively cheap programmable microcontrollers, which can be connected to any variety of sensors, motors, and input/output devices. Countless tutorials and project examples of Arduinos in action can be found online. In many instances, other software such as MATLAB have their own support pages for interacting with Arduino.
  • Sparkfun     A one-stop-shop for DIY electronics hobbyists. Website provides wide range of electronics components and projects, as well as extensive tutorials and project examples. See the "Getting Started" tutorials, or a more general listing of project tutorials.
  • Raspberry Pi     First released in 2012, a Raspsberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer priced below $40, specifically developed for teaching the basics of computer science in education. When an Arduino is not powerful enough, these minimalist computers can be used to run a wide variety of projects.
  • 123D Circuits     An interactive app for designing and testing circuits made by Autodesk.

Molding and Casting


  • Harvard GSD Fab Lab Store     (HarvardKey required) In the basement of the GSD (GUND Hall), this store supplies basic supplies for creating prototypes and projects, including sheet materials (plywood, acrylic), foams, adhesives, and some safety equipment.
  • Blick Art Materials     General purpose arts and crafts supplies with several locations around Boston (including Central Square, Cambridge). Supplies basic stock and tools.
  • Home Depot     Good alternative to Blick for cheaper basic supplies and tools, with several locations around Boston including Watertown. Often can find bulk items which are much more expensive at crafts stores, such as acrylic (plexiglass) and plywood stock. Wide variety of materials, hardware, and hand/power tools. 
  • McMaster-Carr     Supplier of high quality hardware of industrial quality. More expensive than other options, but their website offers a comprehensive overview of the categories of hardware and supplies available - an excellent reference at the very least. 
  • Grainger Industrial Supply     Supplier of mid to high quality tools and industrial supplies, with several locations in and around Boston.
  • Harbor Freight Tools     Supplier of discount tools and hardware, with a location in Medford.
  • Altec Plastics     Supplier of plastics for professional and hobbyist uses, located in South Boston.