Inside SCI-Arc


Art Supply Store Print Center
Kappe Library Robot House
Magic Box Woodshop
Magic Box  

SCI-Arc’s new technologically transformative digital fabrication lab, the Magic Box, opened its doors at the beginning of spring 2015. The lab expands the school’s experimental approach to design and emphasis on learning through providing students with access to a one-of-its-kind, multi-dimensional facility providing access to several different methods of fabrication and assembly.

The 4,000-square-feet, 2-story digital fabrication facility is located at the south end of the SCI-Arc building and connects to the school’s existing Robot House and Analog Fabrication Shop to form the RAD Center (an acronym for robotics, analog and digital).

The SCI-Arc Shop, Robotics Lab and new Magic Box occupy more than 12,000 sq.ft., forming one of the largest and most advanced fabrication facilities at an architecture school. The Magic Box houses three times as many high-speed laser cutters, 3D scanners and ABS plastic printers as were previously available to students.

Embracing and integrating the most up-to-date technologies from the moment they become available, the lab provides students with the most up-to-date, cutting-edge tools available 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 then undergo further experimentation with the help of 6-axis robots, which have been in use at SCI-Arc for more than 3 years.

The 3D-printing equipment available in the Magic Box includes power printers, ABS printers, clear plastic and paper 3D printers. The lab also features several new laser-cutters and CNC machines. The second floor area provides ample work space for students. Together with the revamped woodshop and existing cutting-edge robotics lab, the new digital fabrication lab provides a one-of-its-kind platform for research, experimentation and prototyping.

The Magic Box has so far been supported through generous commitments from SCI-Arc's growing community of donors. At the forefront are trustees Abby Sher and Scott Hughes (M.Arch '97), who enthusiastically endorsed the project with lead gifts. Grants from The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and The Ahmanson Foundation have also provided critical support for the project.

Contact Us
Rodney Rojas
Fabrication Shop Manager
T/F: 213.356.5337

In the News:

Azure Magazine
A Field Guide to Architecture Education

Architect's Newspaper
At SCI-Arc, the Magic is Inside the Box

Architect Magazine
SCI-Arc Planning New Digital Fabrication Lab

LA Downtown News
SCI-Arc to Build New "Magic Box" Facility