In September 2012, iMAL, Center for Digital Cultures and Technology, will open the first Brussels-based creative FabLab.
A Fab Lab (fabrication laboratory) is a small-scale workshop offering digital fabrication. It is generally equipped with an array of flexible computer controlled tools that cover several different length scales and various materials, with the aim to make "almost anything". This includes technology-enabled products generally perceived as limited to mass production. While Fab Labs have yet to compete with mass production and its associated economies of scale in fabricating widely distributed products, they have already shown the potential to empower individuals to create smart devices for themselves. These devices can be tailored to local or personal needs in ways that are not practical or economical using mass production. (from wikipedia.org)
This is part of our missions to provide Digital Fabrication services to the creative people of Brussels (artists, designers, developers, tinkerers) as well as its citizens. We also think that digital fabrication technologies are just at the beginning of a radical change in the ways objects are designed and manufactured, an evolution (maybe a revolution) bringing new open and participative design processes and open source approaches to the manufacturing of new innovative, useful, sustainable physical objects.
Following the success of the free/libre/open-source (FLOSS) approach to software and electronic hardware (e.g. arduino), we are entering in the age of Open Source Hardware. Combined with the explosion of DIY practices amplified through online platforms and communities and the ubiquituous cheap and flexible digital machinery, the open source approach to objects is going to change radically how we design and manufacture them, opening the era of open fabrication. More and more people will design their own objects for their very local and contextual needs and pleasure, producing them with new types of fabrication machines and sharing them through the global village... More and more the process of designing and making physical objects will be open and participative, with online sharing of practices, blueprints of objects and open source fabrication machines, resulting hopefully in social and industrial innovations driven by the communities.
The FabLab BRU at iMAL is made possible thanks to the support of the Commission communautaire française (Cocof), and the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles.
Latest FabLab activities