Let’s build a network of central European Fab Labs!
For two days in June, eight Fab Labs from central Europe gathered in Happylab Vienna for an exciting workshop on Fab Lab management best practices and different education formats. The exchange was particularly interesting due to the differences in terms of size, equipment and user base between the participating labs. On one hand, the smallest participating lab – Roglab in Ljubljana – operates in only 30 square metres; while on the other hand, Maker Space Munich is one of the biggest labs in Germany, with 1500 square metres.
All the participating labs are part of the FabLabNet project. The project, which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund, aims to connect Fab Labs in a Central European network. The project partners share experiences and develop activities to boost their knowledge and capacity. FabLabNet’s main objective is to bring the Fab Lab concept to new, existing and future innovators across Central Europe and connect them on a transnational level.
On the first day, the group focused on the best practices from Happylab – how to run a lab with just one lab manager, and still provide safe machine access to your users 24/7. For Happylab, the answer is Fabman: a space management tool that was also developed in the Fab Lab and became indispensable for daily lab management.
Education and training sessions were the main focus of the second day, with hands-on workshops and a mobile Pop-Up Fab Lab to explore and try out. Some of the most popular workshops developed by Happylab in recent years include “Print your bag”, where participants can design their own bag using a vinyl cutter and “Drawdio”, where you can learn how to build an electronic musical instrument out of an ordinary pencil and a few electronic components.