FabLab Starter

A blog about building fablabs

FabLabs: Lessons Learned

I didn’t post much during the last month, but I think I learned a few things about FabLabs and am eager to share these findings with you.

Makers, Impact, Society

Some ideas on how makers should help the business community and their role in innovating the country.

A different perspective on how inventing the future should not stop us to think about the current times and the social issues surrounding us.

My FabLab Survey

I spent the last few weeks trying to study the current state of the FabLab movement, my goal was to get a deeper understanding of how all these small groups of people agree on building a FabLab, how they organize it and the resources used to get it done.

I learnt few interesting facts that I think might be useful to my project and to those seeking similar goals.

The Lean FabLab Part 2 - or Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 3d Printer, Yet

In the previous post I promised to give some more details on the techniques proposed by the Lean Startup methodology to validate a business hypothesis.

Let’s talk about one of the first that came to my mind: testing how much people is really interested in using your FabLab tools and which you should buy.

The Lean FabLab

Reading the “Lean Startup” book from Eric Reis, I started thinking how his teachings could be applied to building and running a FabLab.

For those who think this stuff is just for software startups, it’s important to notice that such methodology has been developed on many of the values and concepts adopted since the 80s in the Toyota car company, famous for example for the invention of the now widely popular Just In Time (JIT) manufacturing. For this reason many suggest this book might teach some valuable lessons on strategy, and be applied to startups of any kind.

But beware: like most methodologies, this is no silver bullet. Every advice must be considered within the actual context and taken with common sense.

Starting a FabLab

When starting a new project, especially on our own, we should always ask ourselves if it’s worth the work and which are our expectations about it.

As an exercise I’ll try to summarize the goals I want to achieve with this project, and the motivations behind them. Others might share some of those; some probably don’t as they are strictly related to our local (italian) business and industrial environment.