Foster Introduces Legislation to Support Fab Lab Network
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) introduced legislation that would boost the growth of a national Fab Lab network. Fab Labs are facilities equipped with a set of tools that allow individuals to create anything using laser cutters, 3D printers, and other digitally controlled machine tools. This set of equipment enables people who have an idea for a new product to rapidly create a prototype. Fab Labs have been used to produce solar and wind-powered turbines, thin-client computers, wireless data networks, and analytical instrumentation for agriculture and health care.
The National Fab Lab Network Act would create a federally-chartered non-profit organization, the National Fab Lab Network (NFLN), to serve as a central seed funding source for Fab Labs across the country. It would provide aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs with access to Fab Labs, lowering the entry barrier for small businesses and manufacturing.
“Fab Labs are an excellent way to give students of all ages an opportunity to explore STEM in an interactive way and to foster creativity and curiosity in new ideas,” Foster said. “New ideas are vital to economic growth in our country. A National Fab Lab Network will not only provide people access to tools to develop new ideas, but it will also give entrepreneurs access to equipment and resources to develop new models and prototypes and grow their businesses.”
A copy of the legislation is available here.