MARMC's Fab Lab Helps Sailors Get Creative
CS2 goes from kitchen creations to building an MP3 player
When Culinary Specialist (CS) 2nd Class Kirstene Edwards, assigned to Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC), found out she was selected for Fab Lab training, she was both happy and scared.
But in order for this first ever digital manufacturing maintenance course to be successful, Fab Lab Project Officer Lt. Todd Coursey knew he had to find the perfect candidate. He had a conversation with MARMC Engineering Department Head Chief Warrant Officer 5 Dwight Baker, regarding the newest Fab Lab program and his search for that perfect candidate. Baker remarked that he had the perfect person for the program and suggested Edwards.
"The purpose of this course was to take someone who had little to no experience in digital design and fabrication and teach them to work through a complex project," said Coursey. "The course contains a series of modules that each student will progress through with the goal being to turn their creativity into actual concepts and prototypes."
The training course curriculum covers basic digital engineering design, mechanical and electronic principles.
"I didn't know what their expectations of me would be for this course," said Edwards. "I've always had a thirst for knowledge and creation. Being a CS in the Navy, I create meals all the time. I knew I would enjoy this opportunity, but there was a little trepidation initially."
MARMC partnered with Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Fab Foundation and Teaching Institute for Excellence in Science Technology Engineering and Math to develop a three-week course that focuses on an introduction to digital design and fabrication, machining and designing of pre-selected projects, and a self-directed project. The class was spread over three months in an effort to reduce impact on the Sailors' daily work responsibilities.