from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fab Lab logo
The Waag Society's FabLab in Amsterdam

A FabLab (from English fabrication laboratory ), sometimes also called MakerSpace , is an open workshop with the aim of giving private individuals and individual traders access to modern manufacturing processes for individual items.

Typical devices are 3D printers , laser cutters , CNC machines , presses for deep drawing or milling in order to be able to process different materials and workpieces ("make almost everything"). FabLabs allow the production of individualized single pieces or spare parts that are no longer available ( rapid manufacturing ).

There is overlap and cooperation with educational institutions such as schools and universities , the open hardware , open source and DIY movements.


The first FabLab was initiated by Neil Gershenfeld at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2002 and founded the worldwide rapidly growing " maker " movement. Thematically, FabLabs are located in the field of open hardware, for example using self-replicating 3D printers. The difference to the self-help workshop is the use of high technology and the partly experimental character. In Germany, for example, such projects are subsidized by the state in the context of environmental education , and their relevance for use in schools and for imparting technical and scientific knowledge is increasingly being discussed.


The institutions are often run by registered associations that provide access and use on a non-profit basis and without profit orientation. The financing models can differ in terms of donations and membership fees. In individual cases, commercial offers such as coworking spaces with workshops borrow the name. This is misleading, as the Fab Charter, as a set of rules for all FabLabs, prohibits profit- making if it restricts the access or activities of others. Rather, FabLabs should enable users to prototype , which can also be marketed after being outsourced to their own start- ups.

Goals and target groups

FabLabs can also provide access to production technologies and production knowledge where this is rather difficult for reasons of education, age, wealth or region. They impart technical know-how for different target groups and thus contribute to an increase in educational equity.

FabLabs align their activities to the international "Fab Charter". The charter is the self-image of the FabLabs and gives guidelines for the areas of mission, access, education, responsibility, confidentiality and business. The Charter important aspects such as open access (are Open Access ), responsibility for one's actions towards other people, machines and the environment, open and free knowledge for private use, intellectual property rights and commercial activities regulated.

FabLabs make various production technologies available for small work groups or individuals, similar to how the personal computer made electronic information processing possible since the 1970s or desktop publishing for many people from 1985 onwards . Turning and milling machines are relatively expensive for individuals to purchase. In the context of coworking , for example, traditional professions that are becoming extinct due to machine series production can sometimes survive with their know-how. In addition, FabLabs also offer new opportunities for the creative industry .

FabCity network

The Fab City Global Initiative brings together cities and municipalities that want to manufacture all consumer goods themselves by 2054 . The participating cities fall back on ten principles set out in the FabCity Manifesto:

  1. ecology
  2. Inclusivity
  3. Glocalism
  4. participation
  5. Economic growth and employment
  6. Local production
  7. Focus on people
  8. Holism
  9. Open source
  10. " Joy of experimentation "

The network was initiated in 2014 by the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) headed by Neil Gershenfeld, the Fab Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), the FabLab Barcelona , and the announcement by the city's mayor. Other organizations and educational institutions are among the group of supporters. So far, 28 cities around the world have committed themselves to the goal (as of February 2020). Hamburg was the first city in the German-speaking region to join the alliance on June 27, 2019 .

See also


  • Andrea Baier, Tom Hansing, Christa Müller , Katrin Werner (eds.): Repairing the world. Open source and do-it-yourself as a post-capitalist practice. transcript, Bielefeld 2016, ISBN 978-3-8376-3377-1 .
  • Tobias Moorstedt: You are the factory . Ed .: Süddeutsche Zeitung . No. 82 , April 10, 2010 ( rwth-aachen.de [PDF; 166 kB ]).
  • Niels Boeing: The future is fab. Technology Review, heise online , March 3, 2010, accessed on June 9, 2015 .
  • Neil A. Gershenfeld: Fab: the coming revolution on your desktop — from personal computers to personal fabrication. Basic Books, New York 2005, ISBN 0-465-02745-8 .
  • Julia Walter-Herrmann, Corinne Büching (Eds.): FabLab - Of Machines, Makers and Inventors. Transcript, Bielefeld 2013, ISBN 978-3-8376-2382-6
  • Christina Schachtner (2014) (ed.): Children and things. Worlds of things between children's rooms and FabLabs. Bielefeld: transcript, ISBN 978-3-8376-2553-0
  • Christina Schachtner (2018): Children, Things and Culture. Observations in a Fab Lab, in: Gail Caruth / Marilena, Ticuson (Ed.), Current Issues in Educational Methods and Theory in a Changing World , Athens: Athens Institute for Education and Research, pp. 131 - 146, https://www.atiner.gr/books-al

Web links

Commons : Makerspaces  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Mareike Spielhofen for the ANU Bundesverband eV: Fablabs - producing democratically . Umweltbildung.de. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  2. Erica Rosenfeld Halverson, Kimberley M. Shiridan: The Maker Movement in Education . In: President and Fellows of Harvard College (Ed.): Harvard Educational Review . tape 84 , no. 4 . Cambridge (MA) 2014, pp. 495-504 , doi : 10.17763 / haer.84.4.34j1g68140382063 .
  3. Fab Charter (2019)
  4. ^ German translation of the English-language Fab Charter on fablab-hamburg.org
  5. Fab Charter 2007 (English)
  6. ^ Fab City Challenge. In: Fab.City. Fab Lab Barcelona, ​​MIT's CBA, IAAC, Fab Foundation, accessed February 23, 2020 .
  7. ^ Helga Hansen: Hamburg becomes the first German "Fab City". In: Make, heise.de. July 5, 2019, accessed February 23, 2020 .