Haystack’s Fab Lab was established in 2011 and has quickly become an integral part of our mission to think broadly about the field of craft. Fab Labs, an educational outreach component of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, are an international network of over 2,000 small-scale digital fabrication facilities that spans 30 countries and 24 time zones. Fab Labs provide connection to a global community of learners, educators, technologists, researchers, makers, and innovators.

Haystack is the only craft school in the United States that is part of this network, and in 2016 our lab was recognized with the Distinguished Educators Award from the James Renwick Alliance, for pioneering contributions to craft education—the first given to a program. During the winter months Haystack provides Fab Lab access to our local community through projects in the schools and digital fabrication training at our winter office.

At Haystack, the Fab Lab serves as a complement to our existing programs, and no prior experience is required to work in the lab. While summer program participants (artists in residence, conference presenters, faculty, and workshop participants) are provided access to the Haystack Fab Lab, it is not a dedicated workshop and has specific hours of availability. People interested in learning about digital fabrication tools and equipment, techniques and related materials, can sign up for time in the Haystack Fab Lab — we partner with trained professionals from MIT, Harvard Graduate School of Design, The University of Virginia Curry School of Education, AS220, and Fab Labs around the world to staff this studio. People are invited to first sign up for a consultation with Fab Lab staff and can subsequently sign up for available blocks of time to work on a specific piece of equipment for a project. The culture found in the Haystack Fab Lab is one of experimentation, risk taking, and collaboration and the inclusion of digital technology exploration for our program participants is another way they can augment their studio work and time on campus.

During the winter months, the Haystack Fab Lab serves as a vital resource for community-based education, outreach, and digital fabrication training. 2019 will be the second year of a paid internship program, developed for area high school students, and we will also be expanding our work with the local school system to integrate digital technology and design proficiency into 7th and 8th grade classrooms on Deer Isle.

Haystack Fab Lab Equipment and Tools (subject to change)


Bantam Precision CNC Milling Machine

Brother SE 1800 Digital Sewing Machine

Epilog Legend 24TT 35 Watt Laser Cutter

Epson ET-2550 Printer/Scanner

Formlabs Form 2 SLA Resin Printer

Heat Press

HP Design Jet 111 Large Format Printer – 24”

iMac Workstations (4)

Prusa i3 MK 3 Filament Printer

Roland GX – 24 Vinyl Cutter

Sindoh 3D Wox Filament Printer

Shaper Origin Handheld CNC Router

Shopbot Desktop 18” x 24” CNC Router

Shopbot Handibot Portable CNC Router

Shopbot PRS Alpha 4’ x 8’ CNC Router

Universal VLS 350 50 Watt Laser Cutter

Xbox 360 Kinect Handheld Scanner

3D Systems Sense Digitizer Handheld Scanner

Electronics Bench with Soldering Equipment,

Oscilloscope, Power Supply, and a Full

Range of Components

Smooth-On Molding and Casting Materials

Super Sap Resins



Adobe Creative Suite



Fusion 360




Rhino (on one iMac)



In partnership with The Center for Bits and Atoms, Massachusetts Institute of Technology



Haystack and the MIT fab lab were featured on the NPR show To the Best of Our Knowledge in May 2013. Listen to the interview with Haystack’s former director, Stuart Kestenbaum, and fab lab founder and MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld.


See more photos in the Haystack Fab Lab portfolio on flickr. 


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