ADD LAB : Additive Manufacturing Lab at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
Sorensen Partners is designing a Maker Space / Fabrication Lab and recommending equipment for Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT), a technical college located in Boston. The centrally-located lab will be a renovation making maximum use of new signage and economical lighting, paint, and HVAC while deploying BFIT’s existing durable work-surfaces, shelving, seating, and computer hardware. We are researching and advising on the purchase of two professional-grade machines and additional equipment, mazimizing robustness, versatility, and applicability to BFIT’s building technology and automotive curricula. The lab will be visible from or visually linked to the school’s historic central atrium / student commons.
Our pedagogical goal is to showcase additive manufacturing technologies – where materials are built-up to create a prototype – alongside more traditional subtractive manufacturing machines (laser cutters and routers) in a resource-rich peer-directed learning environment.
We recommended and are working with BFIT to customize and implement a student monitor program with expert training and peer-to-peer mentoring. Glowing green buttons worn by the student monitors give them visibility in recruiting peers to use the space. The buttons flash when the students are en route to the Maker Space, and students’ work-study pay kicks in once they log in for work – incentivizing them to attract demand for the new space.