Pop Up Fab Lab Roundup

The first FABLAB Manorhamilton event, supported by the Leitrim Enterprise Office, took place on Thursday 5th February at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre. The large number of attendees throughout the day demonstrated the huge demand for this creative space in the North West and we would like to express our sincere thanks to everybody who took time out to join us and contributed to such an enjoyable and successful day.

The fantastic team from FABLAB Nerve Centre in Derry brought along their equipment, expertise and enthusiasm and impressed everyone with the range of products that can be created in a Fab Lab. They also practically demonstrated that anyone can start designing and making (almost) anything they can dream up.

The morning session saw Transition Year Students from St Clare’s Comprehensive complete a FABLABMH challenge to design, prototype and produce a mobile phone/tablet holder in under 2 hours. The boys were split into two teams and they excelled themselves in coming up with innovative designs for their custom products. Starting from a hand drawing, to a 2D computer design through to a laser cut original the students quickly grasped the speed and beauty of rapid prototyping in a Fab Lab.

In the afternoon a wide range of people from industry, education, the arts and the maker movement came to see a Fab Lab in action. We were pleased to talk to many existing companies who are exploring R&D opportunities that Fab Lab technologies provide and also “inventrepreneurs” who want to prototype their creations. Artists and makers were also well represented at the event as they look to adopt new digital techniques into their work.

We also had some extraordinary conversations with ordinary people who had taken their ideas and created working prototypes; all of whom wished that they had access to a Fab Lab to assist and guide them on their maker journey.

Lastly, Irish TV interviewed us on the how, why and wherefore of the Fab Lab concept. This feature will air on Leitrim Matters on Sat 21st March.