A fab five The Boston Globe
Since 2002, MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms has established ''fabrication laboratories,'' or fab labs, in Boston, Costa Rica, Ghana, India, and Norway. Users have made everything from children's toys to communication antennas and GPS systems.

BOSTON At the South End Technology Center fab lab, inner-city kids learn the basics of the technology.

NORWAY Fab lab programs and tools were used to design this antenna.

INDIA Fab lab users at the Vigyan Ashram school in Pabal made an optical encoder to help fix a tractor engine.

COSTA RICA Students at this fab lab learned to program and design circuitry, which they then used to enhance toys.

(Photos courtesy of Center for Bits and Atoms)
GHANA Fab labs project director Neil Gershenfeld of MIT discusses the lab's laser cutting machine with local participants.