FabSLAM is a multi-week, team-based, digital fabrication competition where youth learn and practice design, iteration, and rapid prototyping skills primarily focused on 3D Design and 3D Printing. A challenge theme is presented and each team works to develop a product that fits the theme and meets any accompanying requirements. Each team works with a Coach to help guide the team through the challenge and aid in documentation. FabSLAM culminates in a FabSLAM Showcase where teams present their products to a panel of judges and a public audience for review and feedback.


The annual FabSLAM program was created at Digital Harbor Foundation in Baltimore in 2013. Originally focused on high school youth, the program expanded to include middle school and in 2016, for the first time, three elementary teams participated! In June 2015, during the National Week of Making, in partnership with The Association of Science-Technology Centers and the Technology Councils of North America, DHF made a commitment in support of President Obama’s Nation of Makers initiative to expand the FabSLAM program to youth across the nation.

You can learn more about Baltimore FabSLAM in these media pieces:


As a result of that commitment, DHF has worked to train educators throughout the state of Idaho and in the city of Pittsburgh to teach 3D design and printing to their own students and run regional FabSLAM events in parallel to the event in Baltimore. This regional expansion proved to be a valuable pilot for how a national FabSLAM program could work.