The D&T Fab-Lab (Fabrication Lab)

Full size PVC vehicle – Dakota Design Tech.

The Fab Lab is the new name for D&T club. Come to my Fab Lab Wednesday and Thursday lunchtime to discuss your own projects or to take your school projects from Great to Fabulous; from Fabulous to Freakin’ Awesome!

Below are some some ideas (most of which have been cribbed from the fantastic South Dakota (SoDak) High School’s Design Tech Department.)


The Fab Lab doesn’t have the funds to build a full size PVC Buggy yet so we’ll start with scale models – maybe electric, air, or even rocket powered!presentation iso renderAir Powered Vehicle – SoDak. (See render above)

Students will design and fabricate a multi-functional Air Powered Vehicle (APV) that will travel over a long distances, over various terrains, drag racing and other events specified by the instructor.  The vehicles will be propelled by forced air from a custom pneumatic firing mechanism.

Learning Objectives
The concepts this project covers are forces and the basic understanding of aerodynamics and the effects of rapid acceleration. Students will demonstrate the skills in accommodating friction and alignment geometry.  Students learn the application of pneumatic power to generate motion.  The ultimate goal of the APV is to design and fabricate a vehicle that will travel at a high rate of speed while traveling the furthest distance. Engineering principles include brainstorming of ideas, analyzing, testing, and revisions. Using creative problem-solving techniques, students will brainstorm about the best material to use: then design their solutions based on their brainstorming and researched ideas. By having each student create an individual design, each solution will be unique in its own innovative way.

2016 Air Powered Vehicle Challenge

egg-crash-vehiclesCrash Test Chassis

Egg Crash Vehicles – SoDak.
Students designed and construct a complete vehicle while incorporating a restraint system and safety features to protect an occupant from a head on collision and/or rollover accident while using the appropriate materials that safely carried an uncooked egg (driver) over a given distance without causing injury (cracked egg) or death (broken egg) to the driver upon impact with a barricade (concrete block) or another vehicle.

Electric Vehicle Chassis

Electric Race Vehicles – SoDak
Everyone is trying to go green these days, and automakers are listening. Concerns about the environment and rising costs of fossil fuels are driving automakers to design and build cleaner, more energy efficient vehicles. Much of the focus is on electric vehicles (EVs).

Did you know the electric car was older than the gas-powered car? It is believed that the first electric car was invented between 1832 and 1839 by Scottish inventor Robert Anderson. The contraption was not more than a carriage with an electric motor and non-rechargeable batteries. In 1835, American inventor Thomas Davenport is credited with building the first practical electric vehicle, a small locomotive.

Design Challenge:
The student will design and fabricate a multi functional Electric Race Vehicle that will be able to travel down a track over a given distance, climb a hill, drag race or other specified events determined by the instructor.

Travel Lite Compact Blue

  • Mobility Scooter – I’ve got an old lightweight scooter – maybe we could rebuild it as an off-roader!

Foldable Race Vehicle


Looks like a great intro to metal work!

Multitool (PDF)

Multitool_Template (PDF)