A Fab Lab is an accessible equipment facility for those wanting to build new or bespoke products. The very first Fab Lab opened in 2007 and became incredibly popular as the unique concept plugged a gap in the market, fulfilling the significant lack of innovative workspaces. As the concept grew in popularity, Fab Labs branched out overseas to the UK and with over 400 stations, Fab Labs have become a part of a worldwide network.
The Trafford Fab Lab opened in 2016 and has since attracted over 4000 visitors, from inventors and makers to creatives and businesses. The facility has over 300 registered lab users and new guests discovering the space every week.
Fab Labs offer a number of services. A commercial service is available Tuesday-Friday giving both individuals and businesses options on how they access the machines and secondly the public are given open access on Saturday’s. Fab Lab main services are as follows:
Machine use by the hour (fees apply either hourly or monthly for bigger creations).
Training and mentoring (1-2-1 training and training courses of design software and the machines).
Manufacturing service (Fab Lab take your design and create it for you).
Like CREATE, Fab Labs are closely affiliated with education, offering unique training opportunities to organisations and individuals. Trafford Fab Lab currently offers an extensive selection of training programmes, ranging from innovation and systemic planning and insights on industry practices, to real-world experience from brands such as TMI and software and equipment training.
Trafford Fab Lab is also a creative hub for businesses and communities alike. With a demand for a strong knowledge of digital technology in modern manufacturing and other technical fields, Fab Labs are available to all and provide help and facilities to develop such knowledge. With large corporations, small businesses and sole traders relying on design tech tools, Fab Labs facilitate for both the commercial and the community.
Trafford Fab Lab is open to anyone, providing users undergo a simple health and safety process. Once completed the facilities are available on Saturdays between the hours of 9:00am – 4:00pm and are free of charge. All Fab Lab attendees are also invited to sign up for public workshops that vary from machine use, developing skills and team-building, etc.