Fab Lab Maker Hub is a project created by Fab Lab Manorhamilton and funded by Leitrim Local Enterprise Office and the Upper Shannon and Erne Future Economy (USEFE) project. The project is based in the USEFE regions of Leitrim, Cavan, Longford and Roscommon. The Maker Hub is a mobile Fab Lab that travels to each county providing training and services to SMEs, Micro Enterprises, Schools and Community Groups. The overall aim of the Maker Hub is to foster innovation, education and new business development whilst providing unprecedented access to digital fabrication technology.
Fab Lab Maker Hub team comprises Stuart Lawn, Leo Scarff and Ali Farrell. All three run their own successful businesses and previously had long careers working with multinational companies. The team have over sixty combined years of expertise and their skills cover the broad areas of technology, design, engineering, business development and community engagement.
HISTORY OF FAB LABS
The Fab Lab, short for Fabrication Laboratory, was started by Neil Gershenfeld at the Center for Bits and Atoms in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab in 2005. Inspired by the success of his ‘How To Make (almost) Anything’ course that utilised the Fab Lab, Gershenfeld sought to bring digital fabrication technology out of academia and into the community. In 2006 he built the first community Fab Lab in inner-city Boston. As of May 2020 there are now over 2000 Fab Labs in over 100 countries. Neil Gershenfeld saw Fab Lab’s fulfilling many aims:
● Serving as a technical prototyping platform for innovation and invention, providing stimulus for local entrepreneurship.
● Being a platform for learning and innovation: a place to play, to create, to learn, to mentor, to invent.
● As a means of connecting to a global community of learners, educators, technologists, researchers, makers and innovators.
● Creating a knowledge sharing network that spans 100 countries and 24 time zones.
● Building a global network of common tools and processes, a distributed laboratory for research and invention.
Fab Lab Manorhamilton as part of that global and Ireland-wide Fab Lab network are continually seeking to develop the aims of the original MIT Fab Lab charter and these all correspond entirely with the Maker Hub project.