A Northrop Grumman executive said FabLab gives employees "hands-on access to a range of tools, equipment and materials, and the freedom to turn their ideas into reality."

Northrop Grumman opens innovation lab

Northrop Grumman Corp. recently celebrated the grand opening of its Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab) at the company's Space Park facility in Redondo Beach, CA. The 5500-ft² laboratory was inspired and developed by a group of more than 70 employees, providing both engineers and non-engineers a space to share concepts, innovate, and hatch the next big idea. A collaboration space features comfortable chairs, carpeting and a wall that doubles as a whiteboard for brainstorming. The manufacturing space itself boasts a full complement of tools and equipment. Employees can fabricate metal using jet lathes and a jet milling machine. A large selection of saws enables all manner of woodwork. Electronics work can be accomplished using the optical bench and soldering station, while the 3-D printer allows rapid prototyping of parts and models that could impact existing programs.

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