What’s a Fab Lab?

Fab labs provide widespread access to modern means for invention.  As a Fab Lab we are an educational outreach component of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) and a part of a collaborative global network that spans over 30 countries and 24 time zones. The Fab Lab is a global community connecting learners of all ages, educators, technologists, researchers, makers, and innovators. Read all about it here on our Adult Programs Page. At WorkChops, we do abide by The Fab Charter.


What’s the New Collar Network/Workforce?

The New Collar Network is a project of the non-profit North American Digital Fabrication Alliance [NADFA], based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  NADFA’s 501(c)3 status was granted by the U.S. IRS in 2018 and the organization is open to anyone or any organization interested in furthering digital fabrication in North America.  To that end, NADFA is the issuing body for Digital Badges for New Collar jobs skills such as operating 3D printers or repairing robots.

Founding members include:

  • Fab Lab Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville, MD
  • Fab Lab El Paso, El Paso, TX
  • Fab Lab Hub, Santa Fe, NM
  • Fab Lab at Lorain County Community College, Lorain, OH
  • Fab Lab Tulsa, Tulsa, OK
  • Fab Lab at WorkChops, Dallas, TX
  • Incite Focus, Detroit, MI
  • The 3D Printing Store, Denver, CO

Sarah Boisvert explains her work, the Digital Badge Program, and the meaning of “a New Collar Workforce” in this video.


The Fab Lab at WorkChops is a proud member of America Makes.

America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, supports the transformation of manufacturing in the United States through innovative, coordinated additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D Printing Technology Development and Transition, and Workforce and Educational Development.

To do our part, the WorkChops team is happy to schedule affordable (sometimes free) tech talks, demonstrations, teacher trainings, and student mentorship in AM/3D Printing at our location or yours.


Forest Scientific, a STEM Education Tools provider, awarded its Forest 2019 Entrepreneurship Award to Mess Wright & The Fab Lab at WorkChops. The annual prize was announced during Fab15, the international meeting of the Fab Lab Network’s over 1600 approved locations. WorkChops will receive a Mitey Router “Fab Lab in a Box” for outstanding work fostering entrepreneurship in Dallas.

WorkChops is thrilled to have a professional-quality Forest CNC Mitey Router in our lab. This new machine will enable us to offer New Collar Network Digital Badges as part of a national pilot program. We intend to target young, at-risk adults. Our programs for young adults are designed to deliver middle-skills training for direct employment with manufacturers in the Dallas/Fort-Worth Metroplex, as well as spark creativity to start their own businesses, making products with the tools of digital fabrication.

Forest has been a long-time supporter of the Fab Network, working with labs from Kenya to New Mexico and donating equipment at the annual Fab meeting.