Shiny? No. But who wants that?

So yesterday was my first visit to a “Fab Lab”.

“How was it?” – you zero readers of this blog ask. (I don’t have a problem talking to myself, doing it all the time anyways =) )

First thing you’ll notice is that it is not as shiny as the pictures on the website suggest. But thats actually a good thing, it means that people are actually working there, not just staring at the machines. There is architects Laser Cutting their projects for University, there is something “baking” in the 3D-Printer for the next 6 hours, and someone is working on the CNC-Machine, I could not figure out what he was working on, but he made something!

So how do you start? Do they just let you go berzerk on these expensive machines and hurt yourself?

Quite the rhetorical question eh?

First of all, a bunch of surprisingly quiet and shy people gathered up right after the entrance, made up from all kinds of people.
I saw two 16-year-olds, a couple art and engineering students, and some “home-improvers” or DIY-ers that were 50 years plus old.
Next, we got a tour of the “Fab Lab”, which ended with me signing on to it of course.

CNC Machine at the Vienna Fab Lab - Happylab

Next thing right after signing on was the first of a series of what they call “Workshops”.

So we took the workshop on the Laser Cutter (I would have started with that device anyways =) ), he explained which file format we should feed it with, how to adjust the 3 Parameters (speed, power and pulses per inch) – just look it up in their Wiki, and which materials we can and which ones we cannot use there.

Fab Lab Vienna Workshop

Now that I have taken part in the Laser Cutter Workshop, I am allowed to use it.
They ensure that I can only use the things I participated in the workshop in with their system of having to activate the machines with your member card.

As far as I know, there should be around 6 workshops, and they have one every week, so it will take a while before I will be able to use everything there, but thats actually perfect, because its going to take even longer to get used to the machines!

The next thing planned is having something Laser-cut. So enough of the blabbering and to the Vector Drawing Program!
(does not sound as awesome as I expected it to. Damn.)

Happy making!

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