Romotive Alum Launches 3D Printing Lab in Las Vegas

This weekend, Romotive alum Jen McCabe will take the first step toward Fabbed Labs, a project that could grow into a full 3D printing lab, factory, and maker community in downtown Las Vegas.

Working with Motorola and the Downtown Project, she is co-hosting a makeathon where six teams will bring their ideas to 3D printed life. It’s part of Motorola’s nationwide tour with a van full of 3D printing tools.

This is phase one, just a test to see if the downtown community is excited about one of the hottest new technologies. Next might be a mobile 3D printing truck that could travel around the city, stopping at schools, festivals, and job training programs. Finally, Fabbed Labs might find a permanent home. They could host community maker days where residents would take classes, learn 3D design, and print their creations. A maker-in-residence program could bring skilled makers into the community to do the teaching.

As McCabe explains, the Downtown Project will make a decision by fall on whether they want to continue pursuing this initiative. While the downtown area might seem to have more pressing needs – a grocery store, for example – she believes that 3D printing can build people’s confidence and creativity.

“I think 3D printing has the ability to act as a ‘gateway’ technology. It gets people excited about their ability to design and produce,” she says.

That’s why McCabe wants 3D printing to be available to all – not just entrepreneurs, but artists, designers, and families. A construction worker might come in and print a replacement part; a child might print a Christmas ornament; a commuter might print an inner tube cap for her bike. These kind of small-batch printing jobs would always be free or low-cost, she says.

McCabe, the former Romotive COO, left when the robot startup moved to San Francisco. Romotive is ready to scale, she says, while her passion lies in growing early-stage startups and making their products accessible to regular people.

“Building Romos taught me that learning a new kind of technology is one of the most empowering tools a person can have. And learning these new means of technology and production will set kids especially on a path for lifelong learning and love of engineering where they’re not intimidated by it,” she says.

Tech Cocktail received funding from the Downtown Project. 

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Written by:
Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact
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