Fabulous Fab Labs

Posted on: April 22, 2009

I think that everyone who went to the FabLab event at the manufacturing Institute today will agree it was truly inspiring. Prof. Neil Gershenfeld of the Center for Bits and Atoms at Massachusetts Institute of Technology gave a fantastic presentation including an 8 year old girl in Ghana soldering a circuit board (or something amazingly high tech like that!) and we video-linked to existing FabLabs in Amsterdam, Antwerp & Barcelona and the Reprap man in Bath UK.

In essence, FabLabs are fully-fitted digital fabrication workshop where anyone can go (free of charge) to learn skills, make products that they want for themselves, develop small business ideas, be part of a linked global community and strengthen local links by working together on products to help their own communities.

The First UK FabLab is planned for New East Manchester – the former ‘workshop of the world’. Although the project will continue to focus on children and young people – I think it will also be exciting to provide an outlet for the adults over there who have that ‘tinkering/engineering gene’ but with the decline of manufacturing have less outlet for that desire to ‘just make things’. Its an incredible opportunity for intergenerational knowledge transfer.

Well done to the Manufacturing Institute for driving this forward – it’s another idea that was catalysed through conversation at Innovation Manchester, and why it’s so important to keep on meeting and talking! I was certainly energised by the conversations over lunch with Manchester innovators!


1 Response to "Fabulous Fab Labs"

We very excited about this too! You can keep up with what’s happening with this project at

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Innovation Manchester is a dynamic and diverse network of innovators and entrepreneurs, working together to make Manchester a better place to do business. We’re making Manchester a global innovation leader by creating: - new connections - new business opportunities - radical city-wide solutions Be part of the innovation conversation - all you need is enthusiasm and original thinking.

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