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Aalto Fablab is an Open-Access Digital Fabrication Lab, which means the tools, tech and facilities are available for all to use.
In practice, this means that our doors are open to any member of the Aalto community (students, staff, researchers, etc.) during our normal opening hours, and that we regularly hold public open days and events for absolutely anyone to attend.
Open-Acess is a key philosophy behind all Labs in the Global Fab Lab network. By entering the Fablab Premises and using the facilities, you agree to the terms of our Disclaimer.
Whilst the Fablab is Open-Access, there are some protocols in place to ensure things run smoothly and safely.
If you would like to use the Digital Fabrication Machines, you must make a reservation so we can make sure we allocate staff to assist you. Please see the Machine Reservations section for full details.
The Lab is free to use, but if you which to use materials from our stock for your Fab Lab project, these must be paid for. It is ok to bring your own materials, but please check with us that your material is suitable and safe to use with our machines. If you can bring us a sample to test, even better!
Students and open days visitors can use the machines and get help from staff for free, but we do ask that you respect our philosophy of Open-Knowledge sharing by helping others, documenting your work and sharing what you have learnt. Check out the Documentation section for more details.
Fab Labs are places were experimentation is encouraged, but never at the expense of safety. You must ensure you are properly trained before using the machines or tools. If you are unsure, speak to the Studio Master or one of the Lab Assistants.
By entering the Fablab Premises and using the facilities, you agree to the terms of our Disclaimer.
By entering the Aalto Fablab premises you agree to these terms.
You consent to photography, audio recording, video recording and their release and dissemination to be used for inclusion on websites, media channels (including social media, and other use) and dissemination by Aalto University for purposes of teaching, research or for promotional purposes.
By entering the Aalto Fablab premises, you waive rights you may have to any claims for payment or royalties in connection of this use. Aalto Fablab and the Fab Foundation does not provide insurance for users and are not responsible for any human mistakes.
You enter the premises and use the machinery, equipment, tools and materials at your own risk.
Aalto Students, Staff and Researchers can reserve machines via takeout.aalto.fi/fablab. The Fablab machines are available to everyone on the Public Open Days every Thursday from 12:00 - 16:00, during which times the machines are available on a first-come, first served basis.
*Although the machine you wish to use may be available according to the schedules, we have to make sure there are enough skills in the Lab to supervise all activities at any given time. For this reason, we may suggest an alternative time to make sure you get the level of attention needed…
Aalto Fablab doesn’t charge for machine use or an annual membership. Instead, we ask that you “pay forward” what you have learned from using the Lab to other users, who may be able to build upon your work and develop faster.
This is achieve through Documentation, and is common to all Fab Labs across the network.
At Aalto Fablab, we use the following documentation strategy:
- Document your work at fablabs.io, using the tag “AaltoFablab”
- Include an explanation and photos of your process, machine settings and original design files
- Let us know when you’re documentation is ready and well share it with the Aalto Fablab community through our social media channels. If we really like your project, we’ll also get in touch to ask if we can do a detailed feature for the Share section of our website
We have 2 credit-giving courses which are regularly held at Aalto Fablab (Digital Workshop Basics and Digital Fabrication Studio), as well as Fab Academy and other special interest courses making use of the technology and openness of the Fablab.
If you have an idea for a course that you would like to run at the Fablab, please get in touch!
Aalto Fablab is part of a global network of 1000+ Fab Labs.
A Fab Lab is a technology prototyping platform where learning, experimentation, innovation and invention are encouraged through curiosity, creativity, hands-on making and crucially through open knowledge sharing.
Each Fab Lab has a common set of tools and processes, so you can learn how to work in a Fab Lab here in Helsinki for instance, and use those skill in any one of the 1000+ other labs across the globe.
To be a Fab Lab means connecting to a global community of learners, educators, technologists, researchers, makers and innovators who contribute to an open knowledge sharing network that spans 30 countries and 24 time zones.
You can read more about Fab Labs on the Fab Foundation website here.
The Fab Charter sets out the philosophy and aims of a Fab Lab and goes some way to explaining what separates Fab Labs from other makerspaces:
What is a fab lab?
Fab labs are a global network of local labs, enabling invention by providing access to tools for digital fabrication
What’s in a fab lab?
Fab labs share an evolving inventory of core capabilities to make (almost) anything, allowing people and projects to be shared
What does the fab lab network provide?
Operational, educational, technical, financial, and logistical assistance beyond what’s available within one lab
Who can use a fab lab?
Fab labs are available as a community resource, offering open access for individuals as well as scheduled access for programs
What are your responsibilities?
safety: not hurting people or machines operations: assisting with cleaning, maintaining, and improving the lab knowledge: contributing to documentation and instruction
Who owns fab lab inventions?
Designs and processes developed in fab labs can be protected and sold however an inventor chooses, but should remain available for individuals to use and learn from
How can businesses use a fab lab?
Commercial activities can be prototyped and incubated in a fab lab, but they must not conflict with other uses, they should grow beyond rather than within the lab, and they are expected to benefit the inventors, labs, and networks that contribute to their success
The Fab Academy teaches the principles and applications of digital fabrication. It was developed to teach hands-on skills in fab labs, which began as an outreach project from MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, and has grown into a global network of more than 1000 labs.
Fab Academy instruction is based on MIT’s popular rapid-prototyping course “How To Make (almost) Anything”, taught by Prof. Neil Gershenfeld. It offers a distributed rather than distance educational model: students learn in local workgroups, with peers, mentors, and machines, which are then connected globally by content sharing and video for interactive classes. The individual labs are supported and supervised regionally by supernode sites with more advanced capabilities, expertise, and inventories.
There is no global accreditation for these skills. Instead, each student builds a portfolio that documents their mastery of them individually, and their integration. These are reviewed by their local instructors, regional gurus, and then centrally to ensure that each student meets global standards and follows evolving best practices.
More details can be found at the Fab Academy website.
We have the specs for each machine laid out in the machine pages which you can find here. There is a separate page for each machine, you can find our Epilog Legend 36EXT Lasercutter page here. It has a maximum cutting area of 914mm x 610mm.
As with the previous question, we have the specs for each machine laid out in the machine pages, which you can find here. Check the specs for the 3D Printer you would like to use.
Yes - you are welcome to come along to our Public Open Days!
For most of the week, the Lab is reserved for Aalto University students, staff and researchers. But we do hold Public Open Days as often as we can. Check our Events Page for upcoming open days.
Fablabs are places where you are encouraged to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in with every step of the making process. We would be glad to help you out and offer advice, but you are the captain of your own ship!
Unfortunately, we don’t lend tools for use outside the Fablab. Since the Lab is open access, we need to make sure tools can be found in their correct place when people need them.
Not a penny!…
The Fablab is free for all to use, but you must cover the cost of any materials you use from our stock. In return for using the Lab for free, we ask kindly that you document the work you do in the Fablab in the appropriate way. For small things, a simple share on social media is great (remember to tag @AaltoFablab and us the #AaltoFablab and #MadeInFablab hashtags). For more substantial projects, we recommend using fablabs.io to share your work with the global community. See the documentation section for more details.
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