The Frith First-Year Design Laboratory (Frith Lab) is a space designed to support the retention and development of young engineers through hands-on learning, peer mentoring, and authentic problem-solving. Part collaboration and innovation space, part fabrication and prototyping space, and part learning laboratory, the Frith Lab enables first-year engineering students to learn by dissecting, designing, making, and analyzing engineering products. The lab features over $150,000 worth of equipment that any first-year engineer an use once they have completed the safety training required for a machine. It features a Tensile/Compression Materials Testing machine, 3-D printers, laser engraver, CNC router, and drill press, along with various hand tools, housed in toolboxes available for checkout. The tools can be used for projects assigned in engineering classes but students are encouraged to come and use the lab for the sake of learning.
The Frith Lab was renovated in 2014 and funded by Ray Frith (Agriculture Engineering, Class of 1951) and his wife Violet.