Hello World!  2014 is turning out to be an exciting and challenging year for the fab lab community, no doubt about it!  Read on…

 

FABX: THE ANNUAL GLOBAL FAB LAB CONFERENCE

  • First, please let us all acknowledge once again the fantastic team that organized and ran the FAB9 meeting in Yokohama, Japan last August.  Hiro Tanaka and his dream team created a beautiful, content-rich, cultural and professional experience that we will always remember. With deep appreciation and heartfelt congratulations, we thank you FAB9 Team for your FABulous work. 

The FAB9 conference presentations are online at: http://www.fab9jp.com/program.html. This year, for the first time we provided a forum for presenting research papers and posters. Proceedings are online at http://fablabinternational.org/fab-lab-research/proceedings-from-the-fab-9-research-stream(missing papers will be added in due course).

 

  • FAB10  planning is well under way for Barcelona.  The theme is The Fab City, reflecting on global interest in and commitment to building self-sufficient cities, to reducing our mass footprints using bits to lessen our dependence on atoms. Our hosts and masterminds for the conference are IAAC and the Barcelona fab labs. Please mark the dates July 2-8, 2014  in your calendars now!  Registration is open, with early bird discounts available until April 1, 2014. Registration, information and conference updates can be found at: http://www.fab10.org. You will note that our hosts for FAB10  have implemented a new platform for publicly listing your fab lab that also integrates with the registration site. This platform is a glimpse of great connections to come, compliments of the Barcelona team. (More on the platform below) 

 

For the FAB10 contest this year, we’re challenging the community in an entirely different way. Our goal is to build a complete self-sufficient structure in central Barcelona in a one week time frame as demonstration of distributed collaboration, design, and manufacturing.  The challenge includes the design and fabrication of both the external structure as well as the internal elements and functionality of the structure and should take into consideration locally addressing issues such as re-cycling, food production, energy production and consumption, network connectivity, etc.  We are asking each fab lab in the community to contribute something toward the construction of this structure. The goal is to collaborate, design, fabricate and test prototypes in local labs bringing only data to FAB10. Once at FAB10 we have one week to physically fabricate the structure, furnishings, connections and associated products. Beyond the architectural innovations, this is clear demonstration of the power of distributed and collaborative manufacturing, and has implications for how we make and consume things in cities beyond food and energy, such as: bikes, clothes, musical instruments, machines, cameras, mini computers, and more.   Dany Ibanez and a team of architects will be coordinating the project — we’ll hear more from them in the weeks to come. 

 

Continuing the development of a Research Papers and Posters track for Fab10, we’ll shortly be putting out acall for papers based on the conference theme:  Productive Cities. We’re looking for perspectives on how fab labs contribute to developing Fab Cities. What does it mean for a city to recover productivity without compromising other aspects of city life? As example, entries can broadly include:  manufacturing ecosystems, materials, urban mining, hardware acceleration processes, co-working, crowd-funding, open source hardware and software, or public policy to name a few.  We’re also looking for reviewers, so please contact us if you are interested in participating in the review committee: research@fabfolk.com.  

 

NETWORK R&D

 

  • We have launched fablabs.io! The online platform designed by Tomas Diez and John Rees, demonstrated at FAB9, that enables existing, new and planned fab labs to be easily found within the global community. Currently Labs are searchable in a list and on an interactive world map. We plan to grow this into an information and knowledge exchange for projects, spaces, machines, people and events. You can find fab labs listed on fablabs.io in two ways- either via the Fab Foundation website: http://www.fabfoundation.org/fab-labs/, or by going directly to https://www.fablabs.io/labs. It’s easy, it’s free and we know it will provide a new level of connectivity between us all. So please visit the site and claim or add your lab as soon as you can!

 

FAB ACADEMY

 

  • In 2013 Fab Academy graduated 38 students in Japan. Congratulations to one and all!  Please see:  Fab Academy Graduation

 

  • Fab Academy 2014  began at 9AM EDT on January 29 and will end June 4, 2014. There are currently 150 students registered for the class from 17 countries and 40 fab labs.  For more information please contact: coordination [at] fabacademy [dot] org. 

 

MEETINGS AND TALKS

 

  • Russia’s MISiS Fab lab,  in collaboration with CBA and the Fab Foundation,  hosted the FabLab 1.5conference in Moscow in October.  The conference gathered machine-building researchers and practitioners from across Russia and the fab lab network.  Presenters included Joris van Tubergen, Bart Bakker, Neil Gershenfeld, Nadya Peek, Sherry Lassiter along with a team of machine designers and makers from MIT. Bart Bakker’s  presentation on 10k lab equipment is online at http://fablab.nl/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/MISiS-oct2013.pdf 
  • The FabLab 1.5 conference was held in parallel with the new Russian youth innovation CMIT fab lab network meetings in Moscow and Penza: http://inno.msk.ru/conf_cmit/program/.  Tomas Diez, Neil Gershenfeld and Sherry Lassiter presented to the new network. 
  • Also in October, the FabLearn 2013 Conference on digital fabrication in education was held at Stanford University.  200 people from ten countries attended the two day workshops, talks and events sponsored by the NSF Cyberlearning Program. The website with the links to the videos, proceedings, and program, ishttp://fablearn.stanford.edu/2013/.
  • SME, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Downeast Chapter, and the University of Southern Mainehosted the Digital Fabrication & 3D Technologies Conference November 1 in Portland, Maine.  Sherry Lassiter was a keynote speaker for the event: http://www.digifabconference.com/  
  • Jan Morrison, Sherry Lassiter, and Neil Gershenfeld explored the connections between fabrication and education: http://www.cfsmass.org/podium/default.aspx?t=144738&rc=0
  • The Fab Foundation and CBA sent a team to demonstrate fab labs, the Machines That Make project and other related research developments at the World Economic Form in Davos, Switzerland January 22-25, 2014.  Nadya Peek, Abu Adam, and Neil Gershenfeld represented the fab lab network.http://www.weforum.org/
  • Neil  Gershenfeld will be speaking at Fabricate 2014 Februrary 14-15, 2014 in Zurich, http://www.fabricate2014.org/
  • The US Fab lab Network Annual meeting will be held in Baltimore, MD this year April 7, 8 and 9th, hosted by the Community College of Baltimore County’s fab lab. For more information, please visit the website: http://usfln.org/symposium/ or contact Judy Loar at: jloar [at] ccbcmd [dot] edu
  • The FabEd Project will hold a development and planning workshop just prior to the USFLN meeting in Baltimore the weekend of April 6-7. Registration and agenda will be published on the FabEd Facebook page in the coming weeks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FabEducation/  (If you’re not yet in the FaceBook Group, just ask!) For more information please contact:  Amanda Johnson Bibbo:   amandabibbo [at] tiesteach [dot] org OR Barb Skarzynski at barbskarzynski [at] tiesteach [dot] org.
  • Trademarks: IAAC has filed and registered an EU Community Trademark for the fab lab color logo and the text Fab lab. This is to protect the network from the appropriation of the Fab lab name and identity by entities that are not in sync with the global network spirit and charter.  This action was discussed at FAB9 and other conferences over the last year.  The trademark is in essence owned by the network, with IAAC as intermediary. This allows us to protect the brand, but our real work is moving in an opposite, more open direction, as demonstrated with the fablabs.io platform.  

 

 NEWS AND PUBLICATIONS

Fab lab Ma’adi (Cairo, Egypt)

Fab lab 6th October (Cairo, Egypt)

Fab lab Dhahran (Dhahran,Saudi Arabia)

Russian CMIT Fab labs (Moscow and across Russia)

Fab lab Richmond (CA, USA)

Fab labs AYB (Yerevan, Armenia)

 

And if we’ve not mentioned you here, please sign up your fab lab at the new fablabs.io platform! WELCOME one and all!

 

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

 

  • Fab Startup Guru: (US based- Cambridge, MA)

The Fab Foundation is seeking a half-time person to run procurement and shipping, and facilitating deployment operations for domestic and international fab lab startups.  Though we’re posting this as a part-time position, this may quickly grow into a full-time position. Please contact Lass and the Fab Foundation for more information: info [at] FabFoundation [dot] org.

 

  • Fab Imbedded Guru: (Africa based)

The Fab Foundation is seeking a fab guru for 3 months this spring/summer to help start a fab lab and mentor it to operational sustainability in Africa.   This is a full time job for 3-4 months.  Please contact Lass and the Fab Foundation for more information: info [at] FabFoundation [dot] org.

  • Fab Lab Installation and Training Guru: 

The Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES) is seeking applications for Fab Lab Installation and Training Gurus for K-12 schools. Gurus will be hired to consult on a per project basis. Ability to travel is required. For more information please contact:  Caroline McEnnis, carolinemcennis [at] tiesteach [dot] org.