FabLab Karlsruhe is an open workshop offering tools and machines to the public. FabLab focusses on the latest technology such as laser cutter and 3D-printer.
FabLab Karlsruhe is an open workshop offering tools and machines to the public. FabLab focusses on the latest technology such as laser cutter and 3D-printer. Members of the association pay a monthly fee between 10 and 20 € and have access during opening times whilst for non-members there is a Fab-Lab-Day once a month. In addition, members are offered courses on changing topics.
FabLab contributes to the democratisation of production processes by providing industrial equipment to the public and fostering the technical understanding. Through this, e.g. spare parts can be made which allow repairs and thus contribute to waste prevention.
Sharing is another core element of the FabLab idea. Sharing the machines and tools allows users to gain experience on the technical devices which are too expensive to buy for individuals or which are too complicated and need professional guidance. Users are benefitting because they can make things and parts themselves which they usually have to buy from commercial providers and are enabled to understand the production process behind them.
Tools and maschines are donated either from business enterprises or private persons. FabLab is made possible exclusively by volunteers being responsible for supervision and instructions. An important factor are affordable rooms of appropriate size to host the workshop.
Evidence of success
People produce spare parts which allow repair works on things which usually were discarded, save money and prevent waste. Some users take the opportunity to produce prototypes or products intended for sale, which is explicitly allowed.
Potential for learning or transfer
The idea behind FabLab Karlsruhe is to introduce industrial technology to the public and make it available for individual purposes. This offer is public but of course limited in nature and extent. There is potential of replication due to the infinite spectrum of technology which could be introduced and made available to the public – FabLabs already exists in many cities and there is potential for additional ones.