Aramco, KFUPM set up design and manufacturing laboratory

Aramco, KFUPM set up design and manufacturing laboratory
Updated 25 January 2014

Aramco, KFUPM set up design and manufacturing laboratory

Aramco, KFUPM set up design and manufacturing laboratory

Saudi Aramco’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture and King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) have set up a special hi-tech laboratory where students and businesspeople can design and produce diverse products including mobile phone cases, electrical components, t-shirts, furniture and robots.
The first Fabrication Laboratory (FABLAB) was set up by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to provide the environment, skills, advanced materials and technology where entrepreneurs, students, artists and small businesses can create something new or bespoke using the equipment.
The FABLAB-Dhahran initiative at KFUPM opened to the public on Jan. 15.
The facility includes a laser cutter, vinyl cutter, high-resolution milling machine and 3D printer that can be used to design and cut materials including wood, acrylic, plastic, aluminum and cardboard, mold and cast items, and produce a suite of robotics and electronic components.
To use the tools available, visitors need to register and book a visit on the website. They can operate the machines with the assistance of instructors.
“Students from age 15 up to college level, as well as small and medium businesses, and industrial and research institutes can use the laboratory. The public is also encouraged to visit, exchange ideas and network with others.”
“Visitors will also be able to fashion and sculpt in plastic items as diverse as mobile phone cases and electrical components, etch and engrave metals, wood and other materials, and create their own designs.”
“They can make almost anything, from t-shirts to furniture to robots, learn to use digital design tools handled by experts in the field, and have hands-on access to fabrication machinery.”
The facility gives businesses, entrepreneurs, schools and communities the resources to bring their product ideas to life, educating users with the knowledge to develop new ideas, designs and products and allowing them to gain the technical skills to turn these concepts into products.
FABLAB-Dhahran was founded on Jan. 1, 2014, and seeks to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs, engineers and manufacturing talent.
Today there is a global network of over 200 FABLABS in existence.
The Dhahran chapter connects its users to the FABLAB global network of innovators, designers, architects, fabricators and engineers to discuss and solve a given challenge.
The cultural center is an Aramco initiative and supports the Kingdom’s continuous efforts toward social and intellectual progress, with a particular interest in creative cultural development.
The center is designed to house a world-class library, archives, a lifelong learning center, youth enrichment and innovation programs, a four-gallery museum, children’s museum, a wide variety of permanent and visiting exhibits, live events, multimedia venues, cafes and gift shops.
While the building is under construction, a variety of programs and workshops are taking place across the Kingdom, including the iThra Knowledge programs and FABLAB-Dhahran.