What is a Fab Lab?
A Fab Lab is a digital design and fabrication laboratory where three-dimensional objects are produced. The aim of the lab is the research and development of design and fabrication projects through digital means.
Fab Labs have designed and fabricated innovating machines and new products and materials. They have also developed technology.
Each one of the projects and products of a Fab Lab is developed in a free fashion called open source by connecting to a global community of students, teachers, technicians, researches, and innovators who share common interests and can contribute new knowledge to projects or use them to design and create something in the future.
Fab Lab Network
In 2001, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Bits and Atoms, run and co-founded by Niel Gershenfeld, created a digital fabrication laboratory with various equipment and tools which allowed the measurement, analysis, and fabrication of prototypes in different dimensions to obtain data from the objects being developed and objects through the data.
As a result of the large demand for a course called “How to make almost anything”, whose objective was to train participants in the use of the tools of design and fabrication laboratories, a basic kit was established to work and do research, which included a 3D printer, a laser cutter, cnc routers, materials, and software. These spaces began to be called Fab Labs.
Thanks to the results and experience obtained from the first Fab Lab projects, the lab network began to spread, starting in Boston, Ghana, India, and Norway.
There are four requirements to become a Fab Lab:
- Developing social projects which involve the community.
- Respecting the Fab Lab Charter.
- Specialized equipment and tools.
- Participating in the Fab Lab network.
At present, there is a network that spreads across 30 countries in 24 time zones. There are nearly 300 Fab Labs all over the world and this number is expected to increase as the technology reaches other communities and their equipment and interest in fabricating their own tools grow.
Fab Lab Monterrey
There are four registered Fab Labs in Mexico. One of them is the Fab Lab Monterrey at the Roberto Garza Sada Center, which was registered with the world network in February, 2014, as a result of the establishment of the Council for Digital Design and Fabrication (Consejo de Diseño y Fabricación Digital) at the CRGS, which is made up of faculty from the Architecture and Industrial Design departments: Daniela Frogheri, Fernando Meneses, Ana Karyna Gómez, Patricio Ortiz, Rafael Gutiérrez, and the students Andrea Llanes, Francisco Mendivil, and Carlos Galván.
Some of the main projects being developed are:
- Free machines: a research project aiming to generate new digital fabrication alternatives based on real needs, the process, and the designer’s approach to his/her creation, through a sustainable vision, high innovation, and domestic production.
- Architecture projects: introduction to architecture students to the most advanced technology for the development and carrying out of research projects. Some of the courses where the Fab Lab is used are Elements of Architecture, Interdisciplinary Design Solutions, and Final Evaluation Projects. In these courses, students can design parametrically and fabricate objects through digital means, in some cases as early as in the second semester.
Sitio Web: Fab Lab - Monterrey UDEM
Sitio Web: Fab Lab - Monterrey
Facebook Fab Lab Monterrey CRGS
Sitio Web: Maquinas Libres