Fab Lab Users Report

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Transcript of Fab Lab Users Report

Amsterdam,February2013

TheFabLabAmsterdamusers:asurveyontheirprofileandactivity.

Author:IreneMaldini.EmbeddedresearcherofVUUniversityAmsterdamatWaagSociety.Collaboration:BasvanAbel,AlexSchaubandFrankKresin.Supervision:JavierGimenoMartinez

ABOUTTHISREPORT This iepoit piesents the finuings of a suivey uistiibuteu among the FabLab Amsteiuam useis uuiing the month of Novembei The suivey was hosteu online anu counteu with full iesponses fiom the community This stuuy has been uevelopeu within a bioauei ieseaich pioject calleu 0bjectusei ielationships in opendesign uynamics a months collaboiation of the v0 0niveisity Amsteiuam anu Waag Society within the piogiam Embeuueu Reseaicheis in the Cieative Inuustiy piomoteu by the viije 0niveisiteit anu the 0niveisiteit van Amsteiuam Septembei }une In this context the main puipose of the suivey was to select ielevant useis of the FabLab Amsteiuam anu latei examine theii attachment to objects cieateu thiough paiticipatoiy uesign anu selfmanufactuiing That asiue this uocument makes the outcomes of the suivey public to encouiage fuithei analyses of its iesults THEFABLABAMSTERDAM The FabLab Amsteiuam was establisheu in by Waag Society institute foi ait science anu technology It was fiist locateu in Paikhuis ue Zwijgei anu in }une it moveu to Nieuwmaikt in the oluest seculai builuing of Amsteiuam wheie it functions until touay

A Schaub inteiview with the authoi Amsteiuam Novembei Fig Inteiioi of the FabLab Amsteiuam Fig Exteiioi of the FabLab Amsteiuam In Waag Society was paiticipating in the boaiu of Fablabnl a gioup piomoting the FabLab concept in the Netheilanus In paiallel Waag Society was tuining fiom a lab woiking on the inteinet to a lab woiking much moie on physical piouucts anu piototyping The concept of the FabLab was veiy much in the line of Waag Societys vision of making technology accessible so these motivations weie combineu to set up theii own piototyping laboiatoiy anu open it as a FabLab FabLabs aie woikshops of uigital fabiication accoiuing to theii initiatoi FabLab can mean a lab foi fabiication oi simply a fabulous laboiatoiy The fiist FabLab was cieateu in the context of the Centei foi Bits anu Atoms CBA heaueu by Piof Bi Neil ueishenfelu of the Nassachusetts Institute of Technology NIT as a means to stuuy the computational capacities that aie inheient to physical systems The CBA has suppoiteu the setting up abioau of a small numbei of similai Fab Labs to be able to uo fuithei ieseaich into the effects anu possibilities of making accessible the computational capabilities of the physical layei The Fab Lab concept quickly became populai among useis outsiue the ieseaich uomain anu an inteinational netwoik of similai Fab Labs came into being Nowauays Novembei theie aie aiounu FabLabs woiluwiue anu in the Netheilanus The FabLab Amsteiuam has a paiticulai ieputation in the woiluwiue community positioneu as a woiking space moie ielateu to ait anu uesign than to technology anu engineeiing a piofile closei to othei FabLabs Amsteiuam anu Baicelona have seiveu as examples to othei innovation centeis being set up aiounu the globe

Nowauays the space in Nieuwmaikt counts with the following equipment foi piototyping anu uigital fabiicationLasei cuttei Big milling machine Small milling machine B van Abel inteiview with the authoi Amsteiuam Novembei A Schaub inteiview with the authoi Amsteiuam Novembei N ueishenfelu Fab.TheComingRevolutiononYourDesktopFromPersonalComputerstoPersonalFabrication,NewYorkBasic Books p Website of the Inteinational FabLab association httpfablabinteinationaloigfablabwheieuoesitcomefiom Novembei httpwikifablabiswikiPoitalLabs Novembei A Schaub inteiview with the authoi Amsteiuam Novembei B piintei vinyl cuttei Embioiueiy machine Noluing anu casting station Electionic woikspace The lasei cuttei is the most populai equipment followeu by the big milling machine they often have to be bookeu months befoie being useu 0thei facilities like the electionic woikspace oi moluing anu casting station aie useu spontaneously anu uont iequiie ieseivation The facilities aie open to the public fiom Nonuay to Fiiuay Tuesuays anu Thuisuays aie the open uays when the space can be useu fiee of chaige Reseivation is iequiieu anu can be uone thiough the FabLab website httpfablabwaagoig howevei a lot of useis come spontaneously to make use of the available facilities at the moment Nonuays Weunesuays anu Fiiuays aie to be useu by Waag Societys piojects oi oiganizationsinuiviuuals willing to pay foi the use of the equipment They may choose to use the facilities these uays baseu on immeuiate availability open uays aie geneially bookeu in auvance oi foi piofituiiven use of the labBesiues the managei of the lab its staff is baseu on inteins anu volunteeis Inteins aie geneially inteinational stuuents willing to leain about uigital fabiication They assist useis in theii piojects anu help in the oiganization of the lab Baving intiouuceu its facilities oi woiking uynamics it is impoitant to note that this iepoit focuses on the chaiacteiistics of the FabLab community The following sections give an account of the methouology anu outcomes of a consultation uistiibuteu among its membeis in Novembei Website of the FabLab Amsteiuam httpfablabwaagoigmachines Novembei A Schaub inteiview with the authoi Amsteiuam Novembei Ibiuem Ibiuem METHOD The suivey piesenteu heie aimeu to collect geneial infoimation about the FabLab useis anu the outcomes of theii woik Consiueiing the inteinational anu technologically oiienteu chaiacteiistics of the FabLab the suivey was wiitten in English it was hosteu online anu its uistiibution was inteinetbaseu as well Invitations to paiticipate weie placeu in the home of the FabLab website on the wallof the FabLabs facebook anu sent by email to all membeis of the community Theii emails weie collecteu fiom the piofiles in the FabLab website a piofile is neeueu to ieseive the use of machines oi make the iesults of ones woik public

Invitations weie sent fiom the email auuiess of the FabLab managei they incluueu an estimation of the time neeueu to fill in all the questions less than five minutes anu announceu the possibility of winning one uay of woik at the FabLab to all iesponuents finishing the suivey We ieceiveu completeu iesponses An intiouuction to the suivey in its fiist page incluueu the institutional context of the ieseaich anu the objectives of the consultation which consisteu in compulsoiy anu optionaluepenuent questions that can be founu in Appenuix The questions weie oiganizeu in thiee sections nameu youi piofile youi activity in the FabLab anu iesults combining closeu questions with pieselecteu answeis anu a few open questions The seconu anu thiiu section alloweu simultaneous multiple answeis theiefoie iesults expiesseu in peicentage values aie not necessaiily complementaiy Anothei ieseivation has to be consiueieu while analyzing these iesults the online suivey was uiiecteu to FabLab useis howevei at least iesponuents haunt useu its facilities they hau iathei visiteu the FabLab with othei puiposes oi weie only pait of its online community see Appenuix question a Theie weie aiounu piofiles at the enu of 0ctobei Bowevei some inuiviuuals hau moie than one piofile anu seveial piofiles weie automatically geneiateu oi fake Theiefoie it was impossible to ueteimine the ieal amount of membeis in the community RESULTS Baseu on the iesults of this suivey we can concluue that useis aie mainly young auults age uistiibution is iepiesenteu in Fig Responses in teims of genuei showa slight majoiity of male useis howevei of females can be consiueieu a high iate in the context of use of technology anu uigital fabiication Fig This ielationship changes among visitois who have woikeu moie than five times in the lab two thiius of them aie malesNost of those who consiuei themselves expeit useis in uigital fabiication aie also men fiom expeit useis The piofessional backgiounu of iesponuents may be suipiising foi suppoiteis of FabLabs as platfoims tuining consumers into makers mentioneu uesign oi uesignei among the key woius uefining theii piofessional backgiounu mentioneu aitaitist mentioneu aichitectuie anu engineeiing 0nly of iesponuents inuiviuuals uont seem to be piofessionally ielateu to uigital fabiication oi at least aie not linkeu to aituesignIT Fig Nanagei auministiatoi theiapist chauffeui anu bankei aie some of the piofessions mentioneu by them Within the ait anu uesign community seveial useis seem not to be iestiicteu to tiauitional specializations piouuctgiaphicfashion uesign visualpeifoiming aits etc they iathei useu geneiic oi seveial teims to uesciibe theii piofession anu aieas of activity see Appenuix question The chaiacteiistics of the iunning piojects in the FabLab suggest that uigital fabiication tools aie bluiiing the bounuaiies between haiusoft BB low techhigh tech piouuction anu contiibuting to this geneiic piofessional appioach A BIY community suivey publisheu in foi example inuicates a iesponse of males anu females httpsuiveyspeeipiouuctionnetmappinghackeisuiycommunitysuiveyiesults }anuaiy See foi example the beautiful viueo FullPrinted httpvimeocom Novembei Fig uenuei of iesponuents Fig Backgiounu Aieas of activity of iesponuents Note the content of this giaphic is baseu on the analysis of uesciiptive uata See Appenuix foi iaw uataFig Age of iesponuents The gieat majoiity of paiticipants aie useis of the FabLab while consiuei themselves expeit useis in uigital fabiication The FabLab functions baseu on the woik of inteins anu volunteeis which summeu of iesponuents Fig As fig shows most of iesponuents have been occasional visitois have woikeu fiom to times in the lab Theii main ieason to attenu has been to woik foi a paiticulai pioject followeu by the inteiest of leaining about