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It’s finally the summer holidays! After a long school year of revisions and tests, it’s finally time to relax! But before going swimming in the sea I spent an internship for three weeks at FabLab Luxembourg! It was a really great experience. I meet some really passionate, creative and captivating people full of ideas they want to talk about. Thank you FabLab Luxembourg for this really great time!
FabLab Luxembourg is part of the really large network Fab Foundation. For those who do not know what a FabLab is, well FabLabs (Fabrication Laboratories) provide access to modern means for invention, like 3D printers, milling machines, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, … that can help you develop your ideas. There are approximately 550 FabLabs around the world (map of all FabLabs in the world).
See this really nice video about FabLabs:
During my internship, I learned to use all these really cool machines and I had the chance to create a big calendar for the open access days. The goal was to find a way to keep open access days organised by letting users reserve different machines during open access days. Thus I designed a big grid with all the available machines and hours in vinyl and stick it in the wall.
To create the layout I used Rhinoceros 3D modelling tool, a really great tool for creating both 2D and 3D objects, and made a big banner, custom icons for each machine and the grid layout. For users to book a machine, I had the idea to cut small square cards in different matters that users could hand on hooks. We’d have to place on hook for every machine in all available hours.
The wall should be visible by far so I choose to use the Nevis Bold font for all text. It’s a really nice font and really fits in the place.
The making of the grid was a bit tricky, it had to be straight or else it wouldn’t be nice. To achieve that we use a rope and a heavy object we hang at the end of the rope. This way when we’d hold the rope from one point we’ll have a nice straight vertical line that we can use to trace straight lines, thank you gravity. Because each cell of the grid is 15.8cm width × 12.2 cm height, we marked the wall going down every 12.2 cm using the rope. We repeated the same process at the beginning, the center and the end of the grid. After we connected all points in horizontal lines using rules.
After this we also had to stick the available times at the start of each column, but the problem here was that the times should be perfectly aligned at the center of each column. So, to mark the columns and know where is the center of each without having to measure it for each columns. I used the laser cutter to make a rectangle in the size of a cell to help us trace all the columns but also mark the center of each column using the point at the middle, let’s call this rectangle “helping frame”. To stick the hours we used a transfer film, after transferring the vinyl to the film, we measured and marked where was the middle of the text using a ruler and rhinoceros. Then using the helping lines we already marked on the wall we glued the time signs in the middle of each column.
Also, by using the helping frame, we could also mark where we were going to put the hook in order for users hang the reservations cards.
To stick the machine’s icons and vertical text, we did pretty the same thing as for the hours.
After sticking everything on the wall, we had to laser-cut and engrave all the different reservation cards! For the 3D printers I used a coloured mat plastic. For the laser cutter we used a special plastic, it was a black plastic with a thin yellow film at the top, so when engraving on the thin film would disappear and we would have a nice black-yellow card! Then for the milling machines, I used to engrave on wood.
Feel free to use, share or even modify this project!
FabLab Open Access Wall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.