On this page we have collected common questions and answers that you may have before visiting the FabLab.
I have a project in mind but am not sure where to start.
Just drop by during our opening times and talk to us about it 🙂 We’re always happy to talk about ways to bring your idea to reality and ways to solve any problem you might have.
Is it free? / Do I need to bring my own materials?
Visiting the FabLab, using our tools and machines and renting equipment are all completely free.
On your first visits we can provide small quantities of materials so that you can get started and learn how to use the various machines as quickly as possible. If you are planning to make larger projects or make a lot of things we ask you to please bring your own materials.
If the project you are working on is part of a course or university project, we may be able to organize materials internally – please approach us in person!
Do I need to reserve a visit?
You are invited to drop by any time during our opening times to take a look around, ask for advice, exchange ideas or use our tools. For smaller jobs, machines will often be available at the moment. If you need to do a larger job, need access outside of the opening times, or want to reserve a machine, please send us an email.
What else should I bring?
If possible, please bring your computer. That way we can help you set up the tools and you can learn to use the machines using your own system right away.
If you are designing a part that should fit/attach/screw/plug/… (in)to something else, bring that part!
Depending on the project, bring your own materials (see above).
Can you print/cut something for me? Can you design something for me?
No. The FabLab is primarily an educational facility: We will do everything we can to help you realize your vision, including designing and making your idea with you, but we are not a design or manufacturing service.
What software do I need? / What software do you use?
We have some laptops with the software that we commonly use preinstalled in the lab, but we recommend that you bring your own computer so that you can continue working at home as well.
We normally use the following programs, but if you use something else we can normally adapt our workflows:
- Fusion 360
How should I prepare my files?
If you don’t have files or are unsure how and what to prepare that’s fine! Just come by the lab and we’ll figure it out together.
To print, we need 3d meshes in .STL or .3MF format. You can find many free models online on Thingiverse or Printables.
The laser cutters need .SVG files. In Inkscape, make sure the units are set to millimeters (mm) under Document Properties and the Scale is set to 1.
Can I buy materials in the FabLab?
We cannot currently sell materials or recommend specific suppliers, but we can advise you on the choice and specifications of materials or check whether a specific product you are considering would be compatible with our machines: Feel free to come by the lab to ask us in person or send us an email.
What materials should I buy?
Our 3d printers use 1.75mm filaments and we usually print in PLA plastic. Spools of PLA are available by many manufacturers online and usually come in 750g or 1kg sizes. We recommend not buying non-brand budget materials, as they are prone to clogging and other printing issues.
It is possible to print some more specialized materials as well, but we recommend that you ask us about it before buying other materials so that we can confirm that they will be compatible.
We can cut and engrave the following materials with our machines:
- Cardboard (up to 12mm)
- Plywood (up to 12mm)
- MDF (up to 8mm)
- Acrylic (up to 12mm)
- Hardwood (engraving)
- Aluminum (engraving only)
Only flat sheets of material can be cut. The dimensions of the sheet should not exceed DIN A3 (297x420mm) to fit into our smaller laser cutter, which we recommend you to use. When necessary, our bigger machine can be used to cut sheets up to a dimensions of 1300x900mm.