“Where are the robots?” “How do I get started on my new invention?” “Can I take that
huge dinosaur home with me?” These were a few of the questions asked by local Cub
Scouts from pack 219 of Tacoma’s North End, during their visit to Tacoma’s FabLab.
In October, a group of ten Cub Scouts descended on Tacoma’s FabLab, a high-tech
workshop. This mecca for the creative is located on Market Street just up the hill from
the University of Washington Tacoma campus.
Attracting inventors, hobby enthusiasts and artists, this innovative prototyping center
provides a space where anyone can create with laser cutters, 3D printers, plasma
cutters, welders and much more. Only one’s imagination limits the possibilities of what
can be thought up and built.
FabLab co-owner, William Davis,
hosted the group of boys for two hours on a Thursday night in October.
Entering the lab with eyes wide, the
boys were quickly taken under the wingof William as he led the young men
through his creative labyrinth much like
Willie Wonka and the lucky five
children at his fabulous chocolate factory.
“It’s really a treat to host these young
minds at the lab tonight,” said William. “I
remember my times as a Scout working
on projects with my father- he was always interested in introducing me to new
technologies and combining them with good-old fashion know-how. We were never
above getting our hands dirty. That’s really what this place and tonight is about.”
The first stop saw the boys huddled around a laser cutter where William explained the
technicality behind the machine but then quickly got the contraption humming. The
scouts stood transfixed as a dazzling laser
precisely ducked and dived around a thin
piece of particleboard, making fine cuts.
Next, William brought the boys to a
leather-making station where each boy
was encouraged to let their imagine run
wild as they creatively stamped out dog
tags. A souvenir each boy would take
Through a swinging door and past a
lightning rod snapping away, the boys
were taken to a room filled with standard
power tools that were anything but ordinary. Governed by computers and mechanics,
these tools made the impossible possible. Soon, the scouts surrounded William around
a plasma welder. Face shields dawned, William demonstrated plasma cutting through
heating a gas to roughly 30,000 degrees Fahrenheit and slicing through metal like a hot
knife through butter.
Mouths agape, the boys removed their hoods and followed William to their final station.
Using the latest technology William demonstrated how 3D modelling allows anyone to
build what their imagination can fathom. Through a 3D printer, William showed how
layering polymers allow something on a screen to be plucked moments later as an
actual form from a tray.
Tacoma’s FabLab marked their first anniversary this month and continues to thrive as
the place in Pierce County for high-tech prototyping and hobbying. But, for Tacoma’s
Cub Scouts of pack 219 is will be remembered as a place where imaginations can run
About Tacoma’s Fab Lab:
FabLab is Tacoma’s premier membership-driven prototyping and technology workshop.
FabLab Tacoma offers monthly classes in prototyping, welding, 3d printing, design and
more. Membership is available for individuals, families and now through a pre-paid
Group tours, corporate team-building exercises, classes and projects available upon
Membership and class info can be found at:
1938 Market Street
Tacoma, WA 98402
Tuesday - Saturday 10AM - 10PM
Sunday - 1PM - 8PM
Monday – closed
Marketing Director, Co-Founder
william @ fablabtacoma.com
Lab Phone: 253-426-1267