Fab Labs' Nordic co-operation is intensifying

The Nordic Fab Labs have strengthened their co-operation by establishing an association. The presidency of the association rotates the Nordic countries and the autonomous territories belonging to the Nordic countries, so that each in turn is responsible for leading the association. The board has a member from all the Nordic countries.

The members of the association are Fab Labs from different countries. Intention is to strengthen Nordic co-operation, increase the exchange of information and provide assistance in opening new Fab Labs in different countries. The first chairman is Jani Ylioja, the director of Fab Lab Oulu at the University of Oulu.

The association acts as a regional voice to the Fab Labs organization of the world. At the same time, it is possible to apply for project funding together. There are about 2000 Fab Labs in the world. A Fab Lab Oulu is a small digital manufacturing working area (fabrication laboratory) that complies with open innovation concept developed by MIT in the United States. Fab Lab contains a standard set of machines that allows fabricating objects, machines or artifacts after they have been designed in a computer.

The regional organization can be a much stronger player than individual actors, for example in the direction of other regional organizations or the Fab Foundation, organization in Boston. At the moment there are 26 members, covering all Finns and almost all other Nordic Fab Labs have joined the association.

Fabrication laboratory is a collaborative place where the same basic processes are available as in other facilities operating in the same format. This feature makes Fab Labs an exceptionally efficient innovation and knowledge sharing network. Designed in one Fab Lab, the product can be implemented around the globe from local materials to air with a strong dependence on global supply chains. During the coronavirus, Denmark, for example, has succeeded in affixing the CE-marked protective mask, which was distributed decentrally with 3D printers and distributed to about 100,000 people in need. Open Source Medical Supplies has documented more than 16 million products worldwide in the same amount of time.

Learn how to make almost anything and apply to Fab Academy

The Fab Academy Diploma is a 5-month part-time learning experience where you plan and execute a new project each week. In that way, you will learn how to envision prototype and document your ideas through many hours of hands-on experience with digital fabrication tools, including electronics fabrication, 2D and 3D modelling, embedded programming and utilization of machines. The Academia is directed by Neil Gershenfeld director MIT’s Center For Bits and Atoms with the local support of Fab Lab Oulu instructors.

COVID-19 STEAM Innovator Challenge for schools has ended. Two groups will pitch online their ideas in January and later kids will build real devices at Fab Lab with the support of the staff.

Last updated: 27.1.2021