Literally, “manufacturing laboratories” can spin prototypes, but also small, high quality products at very low costs compared to traditional and, above all, customized. These can be designed with special programs and printed three-dimensional objects in different materials, where you can assemble and program electronic and mechanical devices of all kinds and where ideas can be transformed into concrete reality. Laboratories where tools, tools, technologies and above all competent people are available in various fields including the aforementioned 3D printing systems or other DIY technologies. Keywords in this area are personal fabbing, prototyping, interactivity, cutting-edge technology content, all with the main goal of building innovation and new forms of local and sustainable economy thanks to the open source and Creative Commons mechanism. The concept of FabLab is born from an idea of prof. Neil Gershenfeld of the MIT, a US research university. The idea is tied to a laboratory capable of collaborating remotely and developing projects in digital form. Access to the lab must be public (at least part of the week). The lab must have a set of shared tools and processes across the FabLab network. The idea is that a project made within a FabLab can easily be reproduced in all other laboratories, such as their own countries and continents. The lab needs to be active and participate in the global FabLab network, can not isolate or compete, but must collaborate with other laboratories.
1) A space for bits and atoms: the main objective of a FabLab is to be a space for experimentation on the encounter between bits and atoms, between information and matter, and not just prototypes.
2) Part of a network: means to be part of a global network consisting of local nodes communicating with each other.
3) A community: the local one of its users and the global network of all FabLabs.
4) A set of tools: we can start from a space or community but basically without a number of digital manufacturing technologies we do not have a FabLab.
5) A set of knowledge: Users expect to have access to specific knowledge, experience and skills within a FabLab.
6) A set of processes: FabLabs should also share most of the processes in order to truly allow effective collaboration between all network nodes.
7) A service: Although at first it may seem strange, the FabLabs offer services, and how services should be designed.
8) It’s not a franchise: you do not have to pay anything to the MIT or the Fab Foundation, the logo can be used freely, and so on (there is not even a precise manual on how to develop it and handle it).
9) A business: FabLab is born into an organization (public or private) that finances it, which starts independently, is always a business form, in the sense that there are rents, expenses, suppliers, salaries to pay, partnerships to be developed , And everything has to be balanced.