Authorities from the University of Panama (UP), Infoplazas AIP and the National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (SENACYT) participated in the opening ceremony of the Digital Manufacturing Laboratory “FabLab UP”, located in the Faculty of Architecture and Design of this house of studies.
This new FabLab UP is the result of the National Program for Digital Manufacturing in Panama, which is an initiative developed by the UP and Infoplazas AIP, with the support of SENACYT.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Dr. Eduardo Flores Castro, rector of the UP; Dr. Eduardo Ortega-Barría, National Secretary of SENACYT; Ing. Luis Cisneros Saenz, director of Infoplazas AIP; the Mgtr. Lizar Castrellón, dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Design of the UP; and Lic. José Chávez, director of FabLab UP.
The FabLab UP is a new center that is equipped with technological equipment valued at about 40 thousand balboas, and supplies with an approximate value of $ 6 thousand.
This new FabLab is the fourth to be developed within the framework of the National Digital Manufacturing Program in Panama. The first was inaugurated at the Azuero Regional Center of the Technological University of Panama (UTP) in the province of Los Santos on November 26, 2021; the second was inaugurated on December 6 at the David Regional Center of the UTP; and the third was inaugurated on December 15 at the Center for Innovation, Technological Development and Entrepreneurship (CIDETE) of the Veraguas Regional University Center of the University of Panama.
A FabLab is a digital manufacturing workshop for personal use, that is, a space for the production of physical objects on a personal or local scale that groups together machines controlled by computers. Its particularity lies in its size and its strong connection with society.
On the other hand, digital manufacturing consists of the use of an integrated and computer-aided system composed of simulation tools, 3D visualization, analysis and collaboration with the aim of creating product and manufacturing process definitions simultaneously.
Dr. Flores Castro, the highest authority of the UP, said: “The teachers of the Faculty of Architecture and Design will be able to multiply the learning acquired in the FabLab UP with other faculties and also with society.”
Dr. Ortega-Barría, SENACYT’s national secretary, stated: “Digital manufacturing laboratories allow the creation of functional prototypes that solve a real problem in society. In this sense, the FabLab UP will be a suitable space for research, problem solving and the development of new technologies for the benefit of society ”.
For his part, Ing. Cisneros Saenz, director of Infoplazas AIP, added: “Digital manufacturing laboratories are part of a global movement that was born at MIT in Boston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, United States, that seeks that citizens learn to do things by their own means and share their ideas with others, and that is what we want to achieve in Panama with alliances between the FabLabs of the Technological University of Panama ”.