Hello, we’re looking to renovate our fab lab and are simultaneously moving to a much bigger space. We aren’t experienced in this area and were wondering if there were other labs who’ve gone through this sort of renovation before and are able give us some advice on the logistics and layout (any ideas work!). If you reach out we can provide the details for the renovation. Thanks in advance.
Great that you have the opportunity to renovate and enlarge. Here are a few ideas:
- IMHO there is no one size fits all solution. You need to find a balance or compromise between conflicting interests:
- All together in a big hall enforces the feeling of being part of a larger whole and stimulates looking around and learning from each other
- Separate rooms preferably with windows to look inside make it possible to have dangerous and noisy activities in separate rooms and also have rooms for desk work, design, electronics, documenting
- A room for instructions w/wo laptops also would be great
- Tools must be visible; if they’re stored in locked cabinets, users won’t even know you have them
- Tools must have a fixed place; at the end of the day they should return to that place
- A handy concept is the workstation: a workstation is a place dedicated to one type of machine/activity, eg 3d printing. The workstation has some samples and a short visual and text synopsis on display, a set of hand tools specially needed when working with that machine, maintenance things for the machine, manuals and other documentation, the machine and the laptop to control it plus some additional desk space, supply materials for that machine. You even could think about an identical peace of furniture to realize a set of such workstations (this creates rest in the room and it paves the way to a modular workstation approach where you easily reconfigure your collection of workstations)
- See fabfoundation.org for some texts on setting-up a fablab, also paying attention to room lay-out;
- See The Fab Lab Life Cycle; Report of the FAB10 workshops; Pieter van der Hijden & Beno Juarez report for management considerations during the fablab life cycle
- Play the “The Fab Safe Game: Preparing Fab Labs and Maker Spaces for Occupational Health and Safety”
If you cannot find stuff, let me know.
Does this help?
This helps a lot, thank you so much for your help and attention.
We will keep in touch if we need more assistance.