Our team

Prof. Dr. Jan Borchers Prof. Dr. Jan Borchers (schedule)
René Schäfer René Schäfer
Fab Lab Technical Manager
Anke Brocker Anke Brocker
Fab Lab Social Manager

About Fab Labs

Fab Labs are small-scale workshops with computer-controlled tools that enable you to make "almost anything". The concept was developed by the Center for Bits and Atoms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For more details, see the Fab Charter below.

The computer-controlled tools in a Fab Lab support Rapid Prototyping, the automatic construction of physical objects to manufacture prototypes and even production-quality parts in small numbers. For example, like most Fab Labs, we have several 3D printers that can print solid plastic objects from computer models using processes like Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) or Stereolithography (STL). The prototype is produced by extruding a fine string of molten plastic, or by printing it in droplets like an inkjet printer, to form layers as the plastic hardens immediately after extrusion.

Personal Fabrication is rapid prototyping for private projects. Just like computers moved from data centers to private households and offices, we expect that rapid prototyping technologies will arrive on our desks in the near future.

For a short overview in German, see our page Das Fab Lab im Profil.

The Fab Charter

  • Mission: Fab Labs are a global network of local labs, enabling invention by providing access for individuals to tools for digital fabrication.
  • Access: you can use the fab lab to make almost anything (that doesn't hurt anyone); you must learn to do it yourself, and you must share use of the lab with other uses and users.
  • Education: training in the Fab Lab is based on doing projects and learning from peers; you're expected to contribute to documentation and instruction.
  • Responsibility: you're responsible for:
    • safety: knowing how to work without hurting people or machines;
    • cleaning up: leaving the lab cleaner than you found it;
    • operations: assisting with maintaining, repairing, and reporting on tools, supplies, and incidents.
  • Secrecy: designs and processes developed in Fab Labs must remain available for individual use, although intellectual property can be protected however you choose.
  • Business: commercial activities can be incubated in Fab Labs but they must not conflict with open access, they should grow beyond rather than within the lab, and they are expected to benefit the inventors, labs, and networks that contribute to their success.

Source: MIT Fab Charter, August 30, 2007

Grand Opening

On December 7th, 2009 at 6 pm we opened the doors to our Fab Lab for the first time.

Pressemitteilung: RWTH eröffnet erstes FabLab Deutschlands

Sie brauchen eine neue Ablage für Ihr Handy? Drucken Sie sich doch einfach eine aus! Was noch unglaublich klingt, soll mit Hilfe der Fabrication Laboratories, kurz Fab Labs, in Zukunft möglich sein.

Am Montag, 7.12.2009, wird um 18.00 Uhr Deutschlands erstes Fab Lab an der RWTH Aachen eröffnet. Im Namen von Prof. Dr. Jan Borchers, Inhaber des RWTH-Lehrstuhls für Informatik 10 (Medieninformatik), dürfen wir Sie herzlich in die Ahornstraße 55, Erdgeschoss, Raum 2014 (jetzt neu: Raum 2214), einladen. 

Fab Labs basieren auf einer Initiative des MIT und existieren bereits in vielen Ländern. Sie bieten die Möglichkeit, eine Idee für ein neues Produkt oder eine technische Entwicklung direkt in einen Prototypen umzusetzen. Experten gehen davon aus, dass in wenigen Jahren in vielen Privathaushalten beispielsweise auch ein 3D-Drucker stehen wird, auf dem dreidimensionale Objekte direkt aus Kunststoff "gedruckt" werden können.
Das Fab Lab Aachen bietet eine Vielzahl von Werkzeugen wie Lötstationen, Arduino-Microcontrollerboards, eine Platinenfräse, einen 3D-Drucker und einen Lasercutter.

More Information

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