August 2015, Boston, Massachusetts. It was time for the Ultimaker team to take another trip across the big pond and visit MIT in Boston. It was MIT from which the FabFoundation emerged as a non profit organization to support the growth of the international FabLab network.
FAB11 Boston Recap video
A FabLab (Fabrication Laboratory) is a public workplace you can visit if you want to make, or learn about making but don’t have all the equipment yourself. A FabLab is generally equipped with a range of tools of which is said you can make everything with these tools. And if you can’t, you can make a tool with these tools that can. A typical inventory you could find is: a rapid prototyper like a 3D printer, 3-axis CNC machines, printed circuit board milling, microprocessor test stations and cutters like a laser cutter. Great stuff!
In the Netherlands we are quite familiar with the concept because we host some well known FabLabs like FabLab Maastricht, Kaasfabriek and ProtoSpace. The latter in particular has a special place in our hearts, because it is ProtoSpace (Utrecht) where Ultimaker was born.
Because we are so closely connected to the FabLab network we also support the Fab Foundation and they have selected Ultimaker as the recommend 3D printer for any FabLab.
One of the biggest cornerstones for a FabLab is learning and educating. On a daily basis they educate their visitors on how to transform a concept into a prototype. At the same time FabLabs gather every year to learn from each other how they can be the best FabLab possible, and get their knowledge up to date. This year, it was a home game at MIT. There were FabLabs from almost every country.
Because of our roots we were invited to come and represent Ultimaker to these FabLabs, and
represent not only us, but one of the manufacturing methods the FabFoundation promotes to have a presence in the FabLabs. That is quite an honor.
Since learning and educating is such a big deal, we decided to pitch in as well. Ultimaker hosted 3 workshops during the show, together with its community. We invited Joris van Tubergen and Markus Seidt, and together we explained how you could transform your Ultimaker into a paste extruder, how to use your Ultimaker to print unlimited in Z and how to convert your Ultimaker in a magnetic tool changer.
Since educating and sharing is also a big deal for us, we have documented these workshops too. We wanted to share our workshops with our audience as well! These tutorials will follow shortly, make sure to let us know what you think! For now, please enjoy this recap.
After enjoying this recap blog you should definitely continue reading to learn more. For example, the tool changer, Joris's hacks and add-ons, or signup to our community. If you want to meet us in person or check out how Ultimaker works, go to our events page to find an event near you.