As a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Neil Gershenfeld spent much of his time answering questions and solving problems. But there was one thing he couldn’t wrap his head around: why so many creatives didn’t have the facilities to assemble true works of art.
Gaining access to design technology was, for a long time, difficult. The professor recognised the absence of innovative workspaces, and sought a solution. This led to the development of Fab Lab – an accessible equipment facility for those wanting to build new or bespoke products.
Fab Lab was the first workspace of its kind, and after the inaugural studio opened its doors in 2007, the concept quickly took off. Today, Fab Lab have more than 400 stations as part of a buzzing worldwide network.
All our studios work on the same charter – offering access to state-of-the-art machines for laser cutting, vinyl cutting, 3D printing, and CNC routing. Workshops are also held on site, offering guidance and support on using the machinery, while commercial and community open access days ensure everyone can take advantage of Fab Lab facilities.
We also believe in paying it forward. Our members spread the message by allowing their projects to be shared around the Fab Lab network. The wider the word travels, the more creatives will discover they have the means to design, work, and learn.
The incredible early success of our not-for-profit organisation led to the group branching out overseas to Britain. The Manufacturing Institute opened the first Fab Lab in the UK, coinciding with the new wave of co-working spaces across the country.
Trafford Fab Lab opened its doors 2016, and has attracted over 4000 visitors so far, including inventors, makers, creatives and businesses. 91% of these have learnt a new skill at our digital fabrication lab, demonstrating the impact of our hub in Manchester.
There already over 300 registered lab users at this facility alone, with new visitors discovering the space every week. Want to explore why we’re causing such a fuss in Trafford, and beyond? Just come along to see for yourself.
If you have any questions, our team would love to chat with you. Contact us or request a call back for more information.