At heart, we at FabLabBucharest are model makers. The lab started with architecture students making models for their university projects and it grew into something bigger.
I will try to explain to the best of my abilities who we are, how we work and what drives us.
What drives us:
Being a group of makers ourselves, always dissembling things and fascinated with how they work, the idea of having a place where people can just build the things that they are passionate about and learn about new technologies and techniques was very appealing.
But the maker movement has been slow in Romania, due to a number of reasons: there is still a small market for locally manufactured goods which always turn out more expensive then wide scalled produced goods. "Making" as a hobby is often expensive and there is no widespread culture for that yet, but there is a curiosity and desire for it.
We want to allow people to get a taste for understanding how things are made and to try to make things themselves.
Having no formal training, we educated ourselves with the help of online tutorials and forums. With the help of these communities we learned how to make molds and cast resin, how to paint and how to use different equipment. We are very atached to this comunity and want to give something back.
We believe in a future where people are more curious and have an understanding of how technology works, how accesible it can be and how they can use it to express themselves.
Who we are:
The team is composed of six people the majority with a background in architecture, each assigned a type of machine to operate but all tinkerers. We reside in Bucharest, the capital of Romania. Our workshop is in an old style Romanian house near the center of the city.
How we work:
We mainly offer services for 3D printing, laser cutting and cnc milling; we help design and do projects for firms and individuals; that is how we are able to pay for equipment, rent and salaries. At the moment we are a type C FabLab, we do not have the space necessary to have many people working for different projects at one time. We try to encourage young entrepreneurs and artists by letting them use our facilities to make their designs either by themselves or with our help. As a solution to our temporary space problem, most presentations and courses regarding "making" in general and 3D printing especially, are held outside our lab, in schools, in universities and at different events.
We also hold Open Days, where we invite people to spend a day (Saturday usually) with us and build something.
On our facebook page you can see pictures from some of these events.
In schools, we bring our 3D printers and teach children ages 14-18 how to use basic modeling software and how 3D printing works. We work with another NGO from Romania, a classroom is no bigger than 15 children.
At events, such as TEDxBucharest or other such events, we have talked about the concept of a FabLab and tried different experiments, either with 3D printers or with other games. On our Youtube page you can see a stop motion we made at the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMh1S3-jYNo
Among the FabLabs we have seen and interacted with are: FabLab Vienna (the Happy Lab), FabLab Nuremberg, FabLab Budapest, FabLab Sofia. We were also Ambasadors at MakerFair Rome 2016, having participated in European Maker Week 2016 with two events.
For more information or if you have any questions at all, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org