|The following article is from The 3D Printing Association Newsletter Issue XVI:
“There is a part of the digital industrial revolution started by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). To be a Fab Lab now means being part of a knowledge-sharing network that spans 30 countries and 24 time zones. Globally, there are hundreds of local community-based hands-on workshops, but only a handful in the UK.
MIT has endorsed the team of the UK Foundation Trustees, including Oxford Professor of Engineering, Bhaskar Choubey, and the Chair of the BeNeLux Fab Foundation, Frits Hoff and its Chairman, Prof ED Berman MBE, FRSA. Berman is the UK’s first and leading Social entrepreneur and his latest social enterprise is Fab Foundation UK.
Berman says: “We envisage hundreds of Fab Labs and associated Makerspaces throughout the UK. The success of one of Inter-Action’s projects, City Farms and Community Gardens since the 1970s (over 1200 sites) gives us a ‘greenprint’ for a UK roll-out using the MIT Fab Lab Charter over the next decade”.
Fab Foundation UK will help raise funding for equipment for new and existing Fab Labs in the UK and it will also provide training and support to individuals and groups wanting to set up their own Fab Labs. It also acts as the centre for sharing information online and supplying ongoing advice for its Associate Member Fab Labs. All Associate Members are local and independent; the Foundation has no authority over its members. Membership is £25 to sign up and £25 pa.
All Fab Labs share common tools and processes. A product produced in a Lab in the UK should be easily replicable at any other Lab worldwide. The current list of recommended equipment can be found at www.fabfoundationuk.org. Neither the global Fab Foundation nor Fab Foundation UK have any authority over any Fab Lab. However, each of these two charities has a President or Chairperson for registration with the relevant national bodies in the USA and UK respectively.
Fab Labs democratise the manufacturing process, using open source programs, designs and information. Fab Labs provide the tools, such as 3D printers, and expertise necessary for anyone to realise their wildest inventions”.
For the Fab Lab Charter and other details of Fab Foundation UK, go to www.fabfoundationuk.org or write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org.