The Somerville school district recently held a grand opening of FabVille, a new facility aimed at helping students and other local residents learn skills that will help them prepare for jobs in the innovation economy.

Housed in the former auto body shop in the basement of the high school’s Center for Career and Technical Education, FabVille is a specially outfitted laboratory designed to educate the public in digital fabrication technologies such as 3D printing and laser cutting.

The Somerville facility joins a growing number of such labs that have been established worldwide, an outgrowth of a course at MIT.


FabVille will be integrated into the Career and Technical Education Center’s regular vocational programming, adding prototyping and digital fabrication to its career tracks. During after school hours, it will be open to entrepreneurs looking to work on individual projects; nonprofits seeking to run educational programming; and Somerville residents of all ages interested in learning something new.

At least two after school programs already are planned: a youth entrepreneurship class taught by Davis Square tech incubator Canopy City set to begin in January, and a class offered by the Somerville nonprofit Sprout & Co. that will teach using the lab’s equipment to create artwork.

John Laidler can be reached at laidler@globe.com.