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Welcome to the Design and Build Lab's Knowledgebase!

The Design and Build Lab - also known as DaBL - is a digital fabrication / rapid prototyping / experimentation facility located in the new Don Myers Technology and Innovation Building. Its purpose is to inspire and empower students, staff, and faculty to create things to solve problems. This is a space available to all individuals at American University with an active AU ID. There is currently no cost associated with participating in the space so all consumables are free to use.

As the Design and Build Lab is a space for individuals to come and prototype their designs, the space itself, as well as all of its resources, are also prototypes and therefore they are constantly changing and evolving. Stop by frequently to all the modifications and improvements!

How do I become a member?

Becoming a member is easy. There are only two steps:

  1. Complete and submit a Safety Waiver.
    • Everyone (faculty, staff, and students alike) staying in DaBL for more than a tour must sign a Safety Waiver; you will be given one during the Welcome to the Lab session.
  2. Attend an in-person Welcome to the Lab session, where you will go over the Safety in DaBL.
    • Please bring your active AU ID to be registered into the DaBL database.

How do I learn how to design and build?

There are three pillars of knowledge that will help you in your quest:

  1. Creative and Technical Specialists, who help you realize your ideas and provide support with all things DaBL.
  2. Workshops of three flavors:
    1. Tutorials, which give you an introduction to CAD principles
    2. Certifications, which are an introduction to CAM principles as well as safety training on a particular machine.
    3. Activities, which give you a taste of a particular topic by making something fast.
  3. This knowledgebase, which is a repository of all things Design and Build.

What materials are available to members?

As of now, there is no cost associated with any of the materials or services that are contained in DaBL. This means that any members can stop and use the consumables that we have to offer. There are a variety of different materials at the disposal of our members which include but are not limited to:

  • Foam Board
  • Balsa Wood
  • Carboard
  • Electric Components
  • LEDs
  • Copper Circuit Boards
  • Delrin
  • Acrylic Sheets


All general knowledge about safety can be found on the Safety in DaBL page.

Knowledgebase Resources

There's lots of exciting stuff to learn. To get started, check out our schedule for a Workshop and start learning!

Computer-Numeric-Controlled Prototyping Machines

Educational Sessions

Prototyping Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Equipment Status

If you are curious to know if a piece of equipment you need to use is working or not, head on over here.