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NOVA Fab Lab

We Do STEM at the NOVA Fab Lab

The NOVA Fab Lab is located at NOVA Community College’s Manassas campus. The lab provides hands-on support to NOVA’s Engineering Technology degree and hands-on STEM opportunities for college students, staff, and community members. The Fab Lab Makerspace provides workshops, demonstrations, project collaborations with NOVA classes, tours, field trips, and special events to help enhance STEM learning and develop STEM skills. The lab provides a creative space to learn about a myriad of topics such as electronics and coding, how to operate fabrication equipment, use of design software, e-textiles/e-fashion, woodworking, robotics, additive manufacturing (3D printing), and more.

Programs at the NOVA Fab Lab

NOVA Makers is a membership program, which opens the NOVA Fab Lab to High School Students and NOVA Students, Faculty and Staff to work on personal projects during our Open Labs. 

How do I join?

To become a member, you must demonstrate an understanding of our rules and regulations by completing the online orientation session, and subsequently passing a quiz. The orientation and quiz can be found by enrolling in our NOVA Makers Canvas course at the links below.

NOVA Students, Faculty, and Staff
High School Students

Membership Fee

NOVA Students, Faculty and Staff - FREE
High School Students - $150 annual fee (payment will be collected upon the first visit to the lab)

Current Machine Certifications

Available certifications - 3D Printer, Vinyl Printer and Cutter, Laser Cutter and Engraver, UV Printer, Thermoforming Center

Fall 2022 NOVA Maker Hours

Open Lab

Mon, Wed & Thurs | 5:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Friday |9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., 5:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Saturday | 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Certification Sessions

Monday | 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Wed & Thurs | 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Friday | 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

For more details, see the NOVA Makers Member Handbook

We have no summer workshop offerings but check out our Fabrication Camps for 4th–9th graders.

We offer hands-on learning experiences to K-12 school groups (public, private, & homeschool). Many or our activities incorporate fabrication technologies, coding, science and math content, and the engineering design process. All field trips include:

  • A hands-on leveled Activity:
    • Level 1 - Upper Elementary (3rd-5th)
    • Level 2 - Middle School
    • Level 3 - High School 
  • Tour of the Fab Lab (Makerspace, Woodshop, Mechatronics Lab, Electronics Lab, and Flex Lab).

Field Trip Activity Options

  1. Earthquake Simulators and Building Design - Students build earthquake simulators from robot parts, design and build a 3D structure, and test the earthquake resistance of those structures. Applied concepts and skills include plate tectonics, the engineering design process, and block coding. Base price of $150/group plus $5/student.
  2. Mini-Greenhouse Builds - Students build miniature greenhouses that can be taken home or used for extension activities (plant experiments, 3D printed add-ons, etc.) back in the classroom. Applied concepts and skills include carpentry, hand tool use (miter saw, square, canary scissors, hammer), and plastic thermoforming. Base price of $150/group plus $15/student.

For more information or to schedule a field trip, contact the NOVA Fab Lab at novafablab@nvcc.edu or 703.530.3505 or via our Field Trip Request Form.

The Fab Lab works with NOVA classes to support projects, lessons, and relevant activities. Support and activities can be provided in-person in the actual lab, virtually, or as a hybrid approach.


Interested in discussing how the lab can support your class? If so, contact the Fab Lab at novafablab@nvcc.edu, 703.530.3505, or submit an interest form.


We are currently accepting project submissions for ENV 122 and HRI 128. Submit your projects here.

You can also find helpful design resources here.

Guided tours of the NOVA Fab Lab including the Makerspace, Woodshop, Mechatronics Lab, Electronics Lab, and Flex Lab are available upon request. Please email Fab Lab staff at novafablab@nvcc.edu to request a tour. 

Equipment at the Fab Lab

Fab Lab Equipment

NOVA Fab Lab Design Challenge

The NOVA Fab Lab hosts design challenges for middle school, high school, and post-secondary students to show their creativity and innovation skills through fabrication to approach different challenges! Look for a new challenge this Fall!

The Brief

Every day we notice problems or inefficiencies with our surroundings and often say things like "It would be easier or better if..." School is no exception. Whether it's organizing papers or materials for classwork or projects or making daily tasks a bit more fun, there are many ways to improve an area of your school life. For the Spring 2022 Design Challenge, we tasked students to design or refine a product to help improve your school life.


First Place: Eli Reeder and Logan Pennington, The Nokesville School with "iDesk"
Second Place: Carmen Chica, Northern Virginia Community College with "All In Chair"
Third Place Harris Lechtman, George C. Marshall High School with "Study Buddy Organizer"

Prizes Received

First Place Prize: $500, 3D Printer, and fabrication of product by the NOVA Fab Lab
Second Place Prize: $300, 3D Printer, and fabrication of product by the NOVA Fab Lab
Third Place Prize: $100, 3D Printer, and fabrication of product by the NOVA Fab Lab

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Bae Systems logo

Makers By Design Grant

MBD Grant


See Fabrication Resources below:

See Fabrication Resources below:

The staff at NOVA’s Fab Lab wanted to do their part during the COVID-19 crisis by manufacturing DIY face shields for the citizens on the front lines. When the Fab Lab closed in March 2020 (until re-opening in July 2021), we knew our portable equipment would struggle to keep up with demand, so we designed two different versions that could be made simultaneously on different machines. 

  • Version 1 appropriates the excellent Budmen™ design which can be made on our portable 3D printers.
  • Version 2 is our own design created entirely from cast acrylic and cut by laser.

By adopting and creating two different designs we were able to significantly increase our production goals. Our PPE utilizes press-in clips from waste materials, eliminating the need for glue.

Both designs are completely open source and free to use. See our PPE website https://nvccppe.wixsite.com/fablab/ steminar for design files, images, videos, and more information on making PPE Face Shields.


For questions email Fab Lab Team at NovaFabLab@nvcc.edu.