The last 6 months has been a busy and exciting time flying the flag for all things FabLab Belfast. Digital DNA in June proved a fantastic opportunity to show our expertise and knowledge within the burgeoning tech landscape and all things digital. Our display of 3D printers and laser cutters attracted quite a crowd and real interest in digital design and fabrication, giving us the opportunity to network with some of Northern Ireland’s leading innovative businesses. From hosting the new provost of University of Ulster Belfast Raffi Foly in the Lab, to attending Inspirefest in Dublin an exciting and inspiring festival of technology, science, design and art, the opportunity to tell everyone about the good work FabLab Belfast does within the community has been well received and attracted much interest. FabLab also had the pleasure of attending Epark’s latest intake of inspiring new entrepreneurs, and had the opportunity to talk them all through the extensive range of digital fabrication options to support product design and rapid prototyping that is available in FabLab Belfast.
Crumlin Road Gaol Workshops
FabLab partnered with Belfast City Council to deliver a Design Thinking workshop, held at the atmospheric Crumlin Road Gaol, to a group of diverse local entrepreneurs and local businesses for one of their Belfast Entrepreneurs Network meet-ups.
In July, we hosted groups for our TBUC summer Camp. In the workshops the groups explored the perceived differences between different cultural backgrounds and took this learning and information to create a beautiful piece of three dimensional art work that reflects what a United Community means to them. During these workshops we were paid a visit from the Education Authority and in their official report they commented on how innovative and inspirational our approach to this work was. The art work will be displayed soon so watch this space!
Fablab Summer Scheme
We also ran our annual FabLab Summer Scheme, during the scheme young people from the local area and further afield got the opportunity to explore the world of digital fabrication with the FabLab staff, this, as always was fun and enjoyable for both the staff and participants with some wonderful pieces of work being created. We never knew you could have so many design variations for an Xbox control holder !!
You’d think after all that we had a break but not us, we then set off to County Offaly In July for the Ploughing Championships as part of the Science Foundation Ireland promotion of S.T.E.M in education in conjunction with Fab Foundation Ireland. This involved 3 labs coming together to show everyone there what we do as a FabLab. We showcased our laser cutters and 3D printers and built siren whistles! We even got a visit from the Irish President Michael D. Higgins. This proved to be an enjoyable visit and a road trip not to be forgotten!
FabLab also re-ran our evening workshops here at the Ashton, these workshops look at the process used in FabLab to make and design objects. The workshops as usual were fully booked within hours of going live. These were very enjoyable and new workshops are planned for January 2018 so keep an eye out to get your place booked.
The lab has been very busy again working with our CORE group. All participants who attended the course successfully completed and achieved a Level 1 in Digital Fabrication and Graphic Design Skills. The young people gained new skills working with 2D software along with using laser/vinyl cutters. It was great to see what unique designs everyone came up with and watching their skills develop over the duration of the course. We wish them all the best for the future!!
As always if you want to find out more about FabLab and the works we do, drop in at any time or call the lab on 02890 755412 to speak to a member of the team.
FabLab is a project of the Ashton Community Trust.