UNM Mobile Maker Lab Express Debuts at New Mexico State Fair

By Rachel Whitt, UNM Newsroom

University of New Mexico

September 12, 2019 – What appears to be a jazzed up metallic trailer on wheels holds the power to innovate, design and create ideas of tomorrow – and it will soon be rolling through communities across New Mexico.

The Mobile Makers Lab Express will allow capabilities of the UNM School of Architecture and Planning (SA&P) Fabrication Lab to be more accessible to rural and underserved communities in New Mexico. The 30-foot long trailer houses 3D printers, laser cutters and CNC mills (think a 3D printer that builds by removing material instead of creating material).

“These are all immersive technologies that are driving the future of our society,” said Tim Castillo, associate dean of Research at SA&P.

The Mobile Makers Lab Express is a collaborative effort between UNM, the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and New Mexico Tech (NMT). It’s intended to bring STEM technologies to K-12 schools in underserved communities in the rural regions of New Mexico.

It showcases new methodologies in digital fabrication techniques so students can better identify with new opportunities in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) related fields. Making these technologies transportable creates greater opportunities to showcase science exploration and potential to students across the state. Many rural communities don’t have access to cutting-edge technology because of various social and societal issues – a daunting challenge creators of the Mobile Makers Lab Express are looking to overcome.

The mobile lab is being debuted at the New Mexico State Fair and will start touring the state later this year. For more information, contact Tim Castillo.