Endless possibilities

Fab Lab Tulsa Inc., a community resource for rapid prototyping of fabricated products, will move to its own facility in March.




President Matt Norris, Manager Josh Moseby and board member Frank Mulhern are three of the forces behind Fab Lab Tulsa Inc., an MIT fabrication laboratory where community members can build almost anything.

When community members visit one of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Fab Labs (short for Fabrication Laboratories), they need only bring one thing: an idea.

In Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Fab Lab users realized the local hospital and university lacked high-speed Internet access. So they used Fab Lab equipment, low-cost building materials and off-the-shelf network routers to create FabFi, transmitting high-speed, wireless Ethernet signals several miles to those institutions.

In Ghana, a young girl was frustrated that when she visited her local market, she never knew whether the milk she was purchasing was good quality or watered down. So she visited the local Fab Lab and created her own milk tester.

“Those are the two most powerful examples of people being empowered to use technology to make their lives better,” says Matt Norris, president of Fab Lab Tulsa Inc.

Incorporated as a nonprofit organization in summer 2010, Fab Lab Tulsa Inc. has been operating temporarily in The Collaboratorium, an entrepreneurial resource center, and will move to its own facility in March.

The Fab Lab concept began as an MIT class focused on rapid prototyping, says Josh Moseby, manager of Fab Lab Tulsa.
“It’s basically a small workspace that has computers running easy-to-use design software (connected) to fabrication machines you can use to make almost anything,” he says.

In 2001, MIT decided to expand Fab Lab into a community outreach project, first creating labs in developing countries and later expanding to more than 40 locations on five continents.

The Fab Lab Tulsa team began to come together in 2008 when Norris, a Spirit AeroSystems Inc. employee, learned about the Fab Lab concept from a colleague who had visited Neil Gershenfeld, a professor at MIT and the founder of Fab Lab.

Norris says he was immediately intrigued with the concept and thought it would be a natural fit with the emerging entrepreneurial spirit in Tulsa.

“Tulsa used to be the oil capital of the world,” he says. “I think we should be the capital of something else again.”

The Community Action Project of Tulsa County first oversaw the group, funding a visit to MIT and southeast Boston’s Fab Lab. By early 2009, Kendall-Whitter Inc., a nonprofit organization serving the residents of the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood, sponsored Fab Lab Tulsa. In October 2009, Fab Lab made its official debut at a public unveiling at the Kendall-Whitter Educare facility.

By late 2009, the Fab Lab team had secured enough funding to purchase the lab’s initial equipment, and in March 2010, Fab Lab Tulsa hosted a business summit for more than 100 inventors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and patent attorneys.

“Tulsa used to be the oil capital of the world. I think we should be
the capital of something else again.” – Matt Norris

Now, Fab Lab Tulsa Inc. is on the verge of opening a 3,600-square-foot facility at 710 S. Lewis Ave., the Hardesty Center for Fab Lab Tulsa. The 50th Fab Lab in the United States, it will serve the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood and the Tulsa region.

Moseby says the lab will cater to three audiences: the education sector, the community and entrepreneurs/small businesses.

While the idea for Fab Lab originated at MIT, individual labs can tailor their services to meet local needs. Fab Labs worldwide are also encouraged to share experiences and advice with one another, Moseby says.

“This has been a movement, and Fab Labs kind of take on a character of their own, wherever they’re put,” he says. “In Afghanistan it’s done a lot in the way of community development. … And then you have places like the United States and Europe where … it’s still helping out as far as community development, but additionally, it’s also helping out in the way of education and entrepreneurship.”

When the new facility opens, it will eventually include up to four staff members but also rely heavily on volunteers, who will assist lab users with using the software and equipment. Community members can use the lab for free, although memberships will be available, allowing for more exclusive access to the equipment, which includes a laser cutter, vinyl cutter, 3D milling machine, 3D printer and electronics workbench. Lab users are also encouraged to download free open-source software so they can design projects at home and visit the lab to create them.

Moseby and the Fab Lab Tulsa board are overflowing with ideas to connect the community with the lab. They would like to work with neighborhood associations to discern their needs and encourage lab users to create projects to meet those needs. They are also talking with Tulsa Public Schools officials about ways to integrate the lab with science education.

Frank Mulhern, a Fab Lab Tulsa board member, says the lab provides an opportunity for community members to help one another by bringing their ideas — from home projects to educational tasks to artistic creations to commercial products — to life.

“The users of the lab — the people in the community — realize this is a huge need and then they can take their ideas and their thoughts and what they want to make happen and they have a place to do it now,” he says. “I think that’s a good story of how easy it is, so to speak, to actually make something happen.”

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

That's the spirit

We asked you, our readers, to provide your take, in photos, of what makes Tulsa so special. And you responded — with enthusiasm. Here, we present the 25 winners of the Spirit of Tulsa Photo Contest.

Innovative educators

From the physics of dance to Shakespearean insults to bringing ancient Greece to life, four local teachers use creative approaches to reach and teach students.

Poppa’s Cabin

Matt Moffett, local artist and founder of the Tulsa Girls Art School, provides a glimpse into his personal space.
Edit Module

Add your comment:

 

Get the best in arts, entertainment and more straight to your inbox.

Join our email list

Edit ModuleShow Tags

August 2018

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

FlyingTee is fun for the whole family and on Sundays, kids eat free! *Limit one free meal from the kids’ menu with each purchase of an adult entrée. Not valid on brunches or holidays.

Cost: Free with purchase

Where:
FlyingTee
600 Riverwalk Terrace
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Telephone: 918-528-7717
Website »

More information

At the 16th annual Senior Star Round-Up, older adults will enjoy live music, dancing, refreshments and door prizes as they gather at the legendary Cain's Ballroom on August 12 from 2 - 5...

Cost: $10

Where:
Cain's Ballroom
423 N. Main St.
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: LIFE Senior Services
Telephone: (918) 664-9000
Contact Name: Emily Fox

More information

Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

 The Mabee Center will come alive in a colorful expression of dance, drum music and song as members of tribal nations from around the country gather to honor, strengthen and share traditions...

Cost: $7-$15

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

Struggling young playwright William Shakespeare, penniless and indebted to two demanding producers, is tormented by writer’s block until he meets the beautiful Viola de Lesseps, daughter of a...

Cost: $20

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E 2nd St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: American Theatre Company
Telephone: 918-596-7111
Contact Name: Meghan Hurley
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

More information

Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

More information

Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

Hues for HOPE will include original art created by Oklahoma artists as well as art created by families around the world impacted by peroxisomal disorders. The evening will consist of...

Cost: $75.00

Where:
The Pearl District Building
1209 E 3rd St
Ste 181
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: The Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders
Telephone: 817-874-9609
Contact Name: Ashlee Cabrera
Website »

More information

Starting 2nd and 4th Tuesdays in August and through September, we're teaching a progressive lindy hop swing dance series! Come learn from Kasey and Laurel, some of the best lindy hop...

Cost: Lesson: $12 Social Dance: FREE

Where:
Willows Family Ales
418 S. Peoria Ave
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: Barrelhouse Swing

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

More information

Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

Where:
Mulligan's Sports & Spirits
10918 E 41st St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

More information

Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

Oklahomans for Equality announces a new musical cabaret series: “Third Thursdays in the Rainbow Room. Each Third Thursday of the month will feature one of Tulsa’s finest musical...

Cost: $15 Bistro Seating / $10 G/A

Where:
Dennis R Neill Equality Center
621 East 4th
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahomans for Equality
Telephone: 918-637-2866
Contact Name: Pat Hobbs

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

More information

Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

Eclectic Disposition aka "DJECOG" hosts A monthly all styles dance event at the Boxyard. ​This 18+ event caters to many of the social dance scenes in Tulsa. if you are...

Cost: free

Where:
the boxyard
502 East 3rd Street
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: eclectic disposition
Telephone: (918)640-1119
Contact Name: Matthew Adams
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Muskogee War Memorial Park: Home of the USS Batfish, Oklahoma’s only submarine, is hosting its annual Living History Day: Summer Cruise! For the USS Batfish Living History Day, the...

Cost: $4-$7

Where:
Muskogee War Memorial Park
3500 Batfish Road
Muskogee, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Muskogee War Memorial Park
Telephone: 918-682-6294
Contact Name: Brent Trout
Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

More information

Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

Join us for our first ever Food Truck Frenzy event! We will have a variety of delicious food trucks located in our own back yard. Grub down while listening to the band Moonshine...

Cost: $10/person

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Drive
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Aquarium
Telephone: 918-528-1507
Contact Name: Liz Medrano
Website »

More information

The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) hosts a Swing dance and lessons  The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) is the only UNESCO recognized dance organization in Oklahoma.  We are a 501c3...

Cost: $7

Where:
Community Center - South Minister Presby Church
3500 So Peoria
1/2 west of Peoria, on 35pl behind the church
Tulsa, OK  74102
View map »


Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
Website »

More information

Roughneck Roller Derby vs Northwest Arkansas Rollergirls Don't miss out on this family-friendly, hard-hitting fun! Kids 12 and under FREE!! Tickets: Advance - $8 At the Door - $10...

Cost: 10.00

Where:
Ninowski Recreation Center
1367 E 71st St S
Broken Arrow, OK  74112
View map »


Sponsor: Roughneck Roller Derby
Website »

More information

If the Oklahoma summer has you turning into a puddle inside your shoes, then beat the heat and chill out with the coolest comedy improv troupe in town! Come join our biggest fans (ceiling) in...

Cost: Admission is $8.00 ($4.00 for children under 12)

Where:
PH Community House
306 South Phoenix Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Laughing Matter Improv
Contact Name: Jerry Henderson
Website »

More information

Eclectic Disposition aka "DJECOG" hosts A monthly all styles dance event at the Boxyard. ​This 18+ event caters to many of the social dance scenes in Tulsa. if you are...

Cost: free

Where:
the boxyard
502 East 3rd Street
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: eclectic disposition
Telephone: (918)640-1119
Contact Name: Matthew Adams
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

TULtalk


Episode 2: Michael Broyles with Raise Your Voice!

Tulsa Opera's Raise Your Voice! program creates before- and after-school choir opportunities at public schools which no longer offer vocal music during the school day.

Comments

The decal on my car doesn’t scream ‘athlete’

Despite this, my 5-year-old daughter and I still managed to complete the Tess Trail Run benefiting the Tristesse Grief Center.

Comments

Video: Tulsa Girls Art School

Comments

Things to do in Tulsa in August

Everything from arena concerts to sand volleyball and local theater for your entertainment this month.

Comments

Staying Power

Why six alums of City Year and Teach for America now call Tulsa home

Comments