Feels good to have free access to an expensive laser cutter, and more!
Today I took part in a short introductory lesson regarding the use of the Fab Lab. Wonky name, but the things themselves are actually pretty neat. They’re publicly accessible spaces (within opening hours, of course) with all kinds of cool machinery for making stuff, usually using a digital form of input like a vector drawing. The school I go to for my minor houses one of these Fab Labs, so they get to offer free introductory courses to their students. Once you’ve learnt the basics, you’re free to use everything they have to offer.
And that’s really quite a lot. From the laser cutter I mentioned to a sublimation printer, but also various 3D printers. Just bring a compatible file into the Lab, send it to the printer, configure, and off you go. Of course there’s also a catch though, but it’s a very fair one. You have to supply your own material. They obviously can’t afford to pay for all the stuff being made there.
It’s completely open though, and since there’s always someone around for any questions you may have, very accessible. Non-school projects are allowed despite the Lab being houses by it. And apparently there’s a whole bunch spread all over the world!
The maker scene is so cool.