A rendering of the Magic Box, a cutting-edge, multi-dimensional digital fabrication lab currently being built on the SCI-Arc campus
Next spring, SCI-Arc will break ground on a technologically transformative new digital fabrication space that will ignite the kinds of innovation, entrepreneurship and out-of-the-box thinking that are the hallmark of a SCI-Arc education. Dubbed the Magic Box, the 4,000-square-feet, 2-story digital fabrication lab will be built at the south end of the SCI-Arc building and will connect to the school’s existing Robotics Lab and Analog Fabrication Shop to form the RAD Center—a one-of-its-kind, multi-dimensional facility providing access to several different methods of fabrication and assembly. The Magic Box will house three times as many high-speed laser cutters, 3D scanners and ABS plastic printers as are currently available to students and faculty.
“With the new Magic Box, SCI-Arc enlarges its capacity to produce conceptual and technical magic,” says SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss.
The school is half-way through planning and on schedule to start construction in the beginning of 2014, and it looks like incoming students will walk through the doors of SCI-Arc’s quarter-mile-long building and into the new robotics, analog and digital fabrication space next fall. And what they’ll find will be impressive.
Embracing and integrating the most up-to-date technologies from the moment they become available, the lab will allow students to build, vacuum form or 3D print their models to life using a wide array of materials, from wax to translucents, to plastic, to flexible materials, to metal. These models would then undergo further experimentation with the help of 6-axis robots, which have already been in use at SCI-Arc for more than 2 years.
“By creating the Magic Box, SCI-Arc reinforces its most critical priority to prepare students to work with today’s most revolutionary technologies, in an environment designed for tomorrow’s world,” says SCI-Arc Director of Academic Affairs Ming Fung, who oversees new research initiatives for the school.
SCI-Arc’s new Magic Box is being built for change in a world in which change is constant. Together with the revamped woodshop and existing cutting edge robotics lab, it will provide a one-of-its-kind platform for research, experimentation and prototyping. But most importantly, it is designed to shape-shift as new generations of students make the building their home and new technologies yield new approaches to teaching and learning.