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Learn for fun

Thomas P. Dalton IDEA Center

Innovate, Design, Engineer, Accelerate (IDEA)
26 Fayette Street in Uptown Martinsville


From hobby projects to entrepreneurial innovation, at the Thomas P. Dalton IDEA Center you can discover, design, and bring your dreams to life. The three-floor, 20,520 square-foot facility houses the Fabrication Laboratory (Fab Lab) and Technology Accelerator.


The Fab Lab is a technical prototyping platform for innovation and invention, providing stimulus for local entrepreneurship. The Fab Lab is available for the community, students, and businesses.

Who can MAKE with us?

Through state-of-the-art equipment and expert instruction, the Fab Lab promotes learning for all ages through skills and innovation.


Interested in a fun, innovative way to engage students? The Fab Lab offers personalized classes for students in grades K–12 as well as embedded Fab Lab instruction in the Patrick & Henry Community College Engineering Technology Program.

Local businesses and industry can gain access to a variety of resources that can take them from concept to prototype to finished product, all in one space.


To encourage economic growth and spark innovation, the Fab Lab provides confidential prototyping services for regional businesses.

Innovation Management Training

Looking for an opportunity to train your managers and staff to think creatively and foster creative problem solving skills? The Fab Lab offers small group Innovation Management Training.

Business Membership

Want your staff to have training and access to the Fab Lab? Business memberships will be created on a case by case basis to provide training, team-building, confidential prototyping, and access to the Fab Lab for up to five of your staff. For more information, contact 276-656-5461.

Whether you want to take a class, complete a specific project, or become a full-time member of the Fab Lab, we have an option to fit your needs.


Join us for a class to learn the software, safety requirements and basic operations of the vinyl cutter, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) laser, 3D printers, CNC mill, and more. Also, join us for our  Fab Lab Family Days and Fab Lab Craft Days!  Click here for the current class schedule. 

Martinsville Mini Maker Faire

Come celebrate innovation and creation in Martinsville at this free, one-day community event. Held annually, the Martinsville Mini Maker Faire is a great opportunity to see just how easy and fun it is to MAKE!


For just $39 a month, become a member of the Fab Lab and use the software and equipment during regular business hours or open lab hours. All Fab Lab members must first demonstrate basic equipment proficiency in order to have access to the lab.

Technology Accelerator

The Technology Accelerator provides entrepreneurs and inventors a collaborative workspace along with the support services, guidance, and networking opportunities that are critical for changing an idea, product, technology, or service into a successful business venture.

What we do here

The Tech Accelerator is more than just a building or a program. We are about empowering entrepreneurs to ensure success. Start-ups accepted into the Tech Accelerator enjoy:

  • A community of creative entrepreneurs’
  • Collaborative workspace
  • Access to the Fab Lab
  • Connections to community resources
  • Local business experts
  • Classes and lectures
  • High-speed internet access
  • Fully networked office equipment including a printer, copier, scanner, fax, and shredder
  • Conference and meeting room space

For more information about the IDEA Center, please call 276-656-5461.

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