Fab FM

Fab FM explores the possibilities for personal fabrication of consumer electronic devices. It is a wood- and fabric-cased FM radio that can be manufactured in small volumes by an individual with access to a laser cutter.

Each radio can be customized with materials (e.g., wood or fabric) provided by the customer. Because the radio can be produced from its digital design files using minimal infrastructure, it offers a diverse set of possible business models and distribution schemes. For example, radios could be sold as kits to be assembled by the customer, or produced by individuals in many different cities.

Buy a Fab FM Kit. You can buy a FabFM radio kit from SparkFun Electronics. It’s slightly different from the design shown here but it’s a great way to build your own radio. Plus the kit is open-source, so you can see how it’s designed and create your own modifications.

Previous Version

The design files for the original version of the Fab FM are available here for reference. The radio module used in this circuit board is no longer available, however, so you don’t want to build this version of the board. The structure should be cut from 1/4″ plywood (frame and struts) and veneer (front and back faces). Instructions for soldering together the components are hosted on Flickr.

Structure: fabfm-structure.pdf
Circuit: fabfm-schematic.pdf, fabfm-eagle.zip
Components: fabfm-bom.pdf
Code: fabfm-firmware.zip


Fab FM is designed to be easy to modify in a number of ways, including form, materials, and functionality. You can see some variations on the radio’s design in the the Fab FM album on Flickr.


Fab FM is a project by David A. Mellis and Dana Gordon. It was first created as part of the MIT class How to Make (almost) Anything (taught by professor Neil Gershenfeld). The original description of the radio is still available on the course’s webpage. Work on Fab FM is continuing as part of the High-Low Tech group (led by professor Leah Buechley) at the MIT Media Lab.

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