FabLabs.io - Discussions on new features

Lets start to talk about what the network needs from FabLabs.io:

  • Approval process
  • Project documentation
  • Discussion
  • Associations tools
  • Flagging labs
  • Badges for labs and people
  • etc

Associations tools: not sure what that means? But is it related to this:

I would like to add regional groups to the io site so that you can contact the network groups. For example: I can apply for funding to do a study tour with a small group in Latin America for 4 weeks. Maybe I should contact everyone I know, but maybe I should contact Kenzo and he will tell me the university fab labs who might be interested … etc


Exactly related to that. Has been asked by Mexico, Spain, Italy… this is for sure something we need

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We are incrementally improving the Discuss section, so here are few suggestions:

  • more threads can be opened under the Site Feedback category, in order to fully discuss each of them;
  • regarding association tools, for the moment we have the Organization category here where associations and organizations can discuss their issues; more tools based on this experimentation might be added later.
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Ok related to the subjects: (my personal opinion) Sorry for the long post!

  • Approval process:
    For my experience we need a system that has to re-credit FabLabs from time to time. Some of the Labs think the FabLab is a constant and doesn’t change with time, we know is not true, so we should re-credit them, also to check if they are following the basic principles.

Another thing is, how can we scale? Is the FabFoundation, Supernodes, enough? Can they receive and check 1000+ FabLabs and more? I don’t think so. One thing we could do to solve that is layers. The FabFoundation, the country network, the regional network and than the Lab (this to check any problem) but i think the accreditation should occur without borders, but with responsabilities.

I think each three FabLabs can credit a FabLab, for that they should check the six concepts (open source, open to community, fab charter, fab academy, network and inventory). The same thing as to supernodes, two say yes, the lab is in, two say no is out, and when there is two yes and one no it goes to the regional network to be discussed.

One more important thing is one of those three would be responsible for that fab lab. From setting it up, to show how the network works. (first years and than they would be a direct connected FabLab)

Each two or more years they would do that again and the three that would check them and change direct connected FabLab. (all of that should be responsibility of a layer above, being a local network or group, freeing the FabFoundation and Supernodes for other things).

This would make the Network have the minimum consistency (i’m totally for new things but it have to have a firm base to grow). And i can grow forever without any of the restraints of a central place.

Resuming: Scale + Responsibility.

  • Project documentation
    In this topic i think we should address the power user, the one that makes a project from star to finish and document that and the new user that just wants to give a opinion on a project (i think this is different from comment, because is related to the project and not the person that made that), also FORK is essencial so people can take a project that is not finished and work on that without erasing the old documentation.

One other thing is a project with multiple users, so everyone can edit and add things!

We can use GitHub, Thingverse and Instructables also, i think we can have a part of the documentation that searchs for the TAG FabLab (and implement on those sites?)

  • Discussion
    I think this is a good start, but one feature discussion could have is the Yahoo answers voting, so that discussions could be focused in the main issues of that subject.

  • Associations tools
    I like FabLabWgtn idea very much, we can make local networks and fablabs have a more active page on this platform, we can addapt Fab-Mananger.com to connect to FabLabs.io and have a system help manage fablabs.

  • Flagging labs
    Yes please! (i think the re-accreditation should work)

  • Badges for labs and people
    Yes, like network, or went to FAB or to local event, FabAcademy and such

  • Language
    I think one of the reasons many Labs are making their own website outside the fablabs.io platform is that is english only, can we make it multilanguage? We from Brazil can translate the main part of the site for Portuguese!

  • Calendar
    Some calendar so we can follow what is happening


A quick update: we are now working on adding the Organization entity to fablabs.io, please follow and participate in its development on GitHub as well here: https://github.com/fablabbcn/fablabs/issues/106

Another quick update: all the issues opened on GitHub that are related to discussions here can be found with the idea from discuss.fablabs.io tag on Github here: https://github.com/fablabbcn/fablabs/issues?q=is%3Aissue+is%3Aopen+label%3A"Idea+from+discuss.fablabs.io"

Hi, I’m Raphael from Fab lab du PEC in montreal, (french fab lab)… here’s our instagram Ted told me this was “the fab lab network”… there’s like… 9 of u here?

so first, when I type www.fablabs.io … I don’t think I should be seeing this…

an alphabetically ordered fab lab list is pretty boring… it could at least be the newest labs …

or even better, “ONLINE” labs … with the possibility to chat/video conference with them. just like facebook if all your friends were labs and you could chat/vido/call them or just live stream their labs… <3 could replace the MCU (cuz we all know fablab wgt are the only one always connected)

Second point
I think a “Techniques” section could be an interesting way to teach other interesting techniques we’ve discovered with our machines. Project documentation is nice… but I don’t want to make your project that much… I want to know how to make my own.

-The workflow we use for filling images instead of tracing the vectors with the vinyl cutter with the “eggbot inkscape plugin”
-How u can use the vinyl cutter to create masks for screen printing.
-How to drive the roland mdx-40 and camm1 gx-24 (and probably every stupid roland “printers”) live using processing.
-how to deform meshes using open data sets to create objects that tells a story
-or even the workflow used to create pcbs using the fabmodules

I didn’t know about that vinyl mask trick before Brad Presler from the South End Technology Center in Boston (which is in my top cute/warm labs) came for a visit. I learnt something from the network, and it felt good.

Re-crediting fablabs every years is a must to be honest, most canadian fablabs are empty shells… the list is crippled with ghost labs, closed to the public labs, no machines labs, metaphysical labs…

A useful/interesting link section? boxmaker, thingiverse, yeggi, open data sources, hackteria.

maybe even an image board where people can post new stuff they found online… but only if we agree not to post every single new useless/fake startup products we find on kickstarter…we should all be super critical about making stuff… …

I think improvement on the site should be more focused on building a community and knowledge sharing than knowing who has which badges. I have to admit I really enjoyed recieving a badge for uploading a profile picture and editing a post. :wink: I’m not too sure about a badge for attending fab9-10-11 and fab academy… If I don’t have a badge, am I still part of the gang? :confused:

that’s my input.


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An interesting thing to do with this type of “credentials” is more of a indicator experience of the participation for each lab registered on the platform. In this way we make people/fablabs to participate to earn points for their fablab and define their participation in the platform, establishing the most actives. This is what we are trying to do for the fablat network,

Would this "participation-meter " guarantee a quick removal of all the fake/ghost labs in the list? and this… :tada:

“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”

who are these individuals? … can they be a group of students in a specific class in a specific university and no one else? or “open access to everybody”? I heard that a lot… as in public access is one of the fundementals values of the network… is it?

and to be honest, that’s pretty much the only thing I think should be considered in the accreditation process… as long as there are a few tools , people from anywhere sharing knowledge, basic electronics and maybe one or two machines. A 3d printer and a stupid plotter should be allright, there’s a lot of fun, creativity and talking that can happen with only these two machines. 2 machines, electronic and open access. that’s all a fablab need to be on the list :kissing_closed_eyes:

Regarding the filtering of Labs, you can follow and comment the development of this feature on GitHub here: https://github.com/fablabbcn/fablabs/issues/170

Here’s how to translate Fablabs.io to Portuguese: https://github.com/fablabbcn/fablabs/issues/180 :slight_smile:

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Portuguese version ready!


We are working a lot on the Project section, especially with European Research projects like MAKE-IT and Made@EU. The topic is very complex, so it will take time to address it. But we are already working on this. More information soon :slight_smile:

You can already Like each comment, which is a way for voting.

You can now see who’s online, just under the header! If you click on the user avatar, you can then send a message to her/him:

… or “Tutorials”? Would it have a specific structure, or just a page to edit?

I think you can already do something like this here in the Discuss section… or do you need any specific feature?

Absolutely! We are working on a new design, more information soon! :slight_smile:

We are working on it here: https://github.com/fablabbcn/fablabs/issues/101

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