Fab Academy

Learn how to make (almost) anything

During the Fab Academy, you learn how to envision, prototype and document your ideas through many hours of hands-on experience with digital fabrication tools, taking a variety of code formats and turning them into physical objects. The next Fab Academy will start on 24 January 2024 at Waag’s Fablab Amsterdam.

The Fab Academy is a distributed educational program on Digital Fabrication, it is directed by Neil Gershenfield of MIT’s Center For Bits and Atoms and based on MIT’s rapid prototyping course, MAS 863: How to Make (Almost) Anything. Starting as an innovative training method, it is nowadays the most complete worldwide program regarding Digital Fabrication within the Fablab Network. It provides advanced digital fabrication instruction for students through a democratized access to technological tools, resources and best practices.

All information and registration via

What is the Fab Academy?

Fab Academy offers a distributed rather than distance educational model: students learn in local workgroups, with peers, mentors, and machines, which are then connected globally by content sharing and video for interactive classes. When necessary, the individual labs are supported and supervised regionally by sites with more advanced capabilities, expertise, and inventories.

The Fab Academy Diploma consists of a 5 month part-time or full-time commitment, from January to June. The diploma is the combination of 19 certificates (listed below) and progress towards the diploma is evaluated by a student’s documentation and acquired skills rather than time or credits.

How it works

During the Fab Academy program global lectures are broadcasted every week. In Fablab Amsterdam we meet every Wednesdays to review the local weekly assignments and follow the global lecture together. The Thursday’s are dedicated to the local classes of which the topic varies per week. Other days of the week students have access to the Fablab machines, tools and support based. Read more about the organisation of Fab Academy here.

Who can follow the Fab Academy?

Students with all types of backgrounds attended the program in Fablab Amsterdam. Artists, high school graduate students, teachers, engineers, computer scientists, professionals, Fablab managers and designers followed the program. As a student, it is important to be motivated and self-directed learners.

What do you learn?

Digital fabrication principles and practices

1 week
Computer-aided design, manufacturing, and modelling

1 week
Computer-controlled cutting

1 week
Electronics design and production

2 weeks
Computer-controlled machining

1 week
Embedded programming

1 week
3D molding and casting

1 week
3D scanning and printing

1 week
Sensors, actuators, and displays

2 weeks
Interface and application programming

1 week
Embedded networking and communications

1 week
Machine design

2 weeks
Digital fabrication applications and implications

1 week
Invention, intellectual property, and business models

1 week
Digital fabrication project development

2 weeks

Fab Academy in Fablab Amsterdam

Fab Academy takes place in Fablab Amsterdam which is part of Waag. Fablab Amsterdam is one of the first Fablabs that hosted the Fab Academy when it was still a pilot in 2008. You can look at the archive to learn about the students projects from previous years: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023.

Application and cost

The Fab Academy tuition fee of Fablab Amsterdam  is € 6000,-. Subscribe to the Fab Academy 2024 via fabacademy.org

More information

For more information, have look at FAQ page or contact us

Read general terms and conditions

Required (pre) knowledge

A minimum knowledge of the following tools and processes is required:

  • 2D and 3D modeling
  • Digital fabrication
  • Electronics programming
  • Web design and development

If you rate your proficiency in them between low and medium, the course should be considered a full-time dedication program. If you rate your proficiency between high and expert, you can consider the programme to be part-time.



Henk Buursen
Fab Academy instructor
Michelle Vossen
Fablab instructor

Fab Academy for your organisation

Besides the annual Fab Academy at Waag we can also develop tailor-made programmes for your organisation in which part of the curriculum is taught. Contact us to explore the possibilities or discuss a specific question.

Contact us

What is Waag?

Waag Futurelab is a part research institute, part cultural organisation, that focuses on emerging technology, underlying assumptions, design, development and art, contributing to a more open, fair and inclusive society. It is accommodated in the oldest non-religious building of Amsterdam, the Waag, in the centre of the Nieuwmarkt square.

In this building, three of Waag’s labs can be found: the TextileLab Amsterdam, focusing on bridging the gap between textiles and technology, the FabLab for digital fabrication, and the Open Wetlab for biotechnology. Waag is not a school, but intends to transfer knowledge on the unique crossings of textiles, biotechnology, digital fabrication and more to anyone who wants to learn and to contribute to a better future. This is done, amongst others, through the internationally acknowledged academies: Fabricademy, Fab Academy and BioHack Academy.