FabLab and Craft NI Announce First Digital Fabrication Programme

FabLab and Craft NI Announce First Digital Fabrication Programme

Nerve Centre’s FabLab and Ashton Centre, Belfast have announced an innovative new partnership with Craft NI to bring NI’s craft sector exclusive access to state of the art digital design and fabrication training and equipment. NI-based craft businesses are invited to take part in the first sessions of the programme taking place in early November in Nerve Centre and Belfast. 

The globally successful Fab Lab concept was originally set up in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to inspire people and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into new products and prototypes by giving them access to a range of advanced digital manufacturing technologies, open source design software and a selection of computer controlled machines - including 3d Printers, Laser cutters, Milling machines and CNC Routers - users can design and make almost anything they want.
Eamon Durey, project manager of FabLab said 'Fab Lab Nerve Centre is delighted to launch this joint project with Craft NI.  The craft sector in NI is diverse, dynamic, and consistently produces work of the highest quality. Digital Fabrication offers exciting opportunities in terms of rapid prototyping of new ideas, and the facilitation of automated small production runs, but in particular, it encourages creative experimentation.  We look forward to seeing where local Crafters can take this'.
To date, thousands of small manufacturers, craft businesses, inventors, schools and community groups worldwide have used Fab Lab’s resources resulting in a wide range of products having been successfully conceived, developed and prototyped there. 
Speaking at the launch Junior Minister Jennifer McCann said: 'This is a fantastic facility where both children and young people can turn their ideas into reality. This project will deliver on a number of levels, both in direct peace building activities and also as an educational tool. The inclusive nature of Fab Lab has ensured that a wide range of people from differing backgrounds can work together to build a better future for all'.

This new partnership develops that knowledge and offers specific access to NI-based Craft Businesses to the Labs for introductory training in Digital Design and Fabrication, as well as access to machinery to turn ideas into reality and explore new production processes. These applications are not just restricted to product design but also have real applications for the craft businesses in driving innovation in packaging and display.  


These sessions mark the beginning of a series of shared initiatives for the Nerve Centre, Craft NI and Northern Ireland's FabLabs which will include entrepreneurship and digital skills training for the crafts and community sectors.

www.fablabni.com is  a project supported by the European Union’s PEACE III Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body

Web link: http://www.fablabni.com/

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