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First place Fab Awards winner Afate Gnikou and Koffi Jodji Honoli with their e-waste 3D printer

This week 600 people gathered in Barcelona for Fab10, a truly international conference on the state of digital fabrication and open source hardware, as well as a convention for the global FabLab makerspace network.

Fab Labs are the brainchild of Neil Gershenfeld of MIT. His vision was to build a network of standardized makerspaces outfitted with a suite of digital fabrication tools that would enable one to make just about anything. What I’ve understood from attending #Fab10 is that this list of equipment is important for facilitating the globally distributed Fab Academy – the Fab Lab network’s 6 month maker training program.

In Barcelona over 600 of these students, plus mentors, associated makers and institutions gathered this week to share and network. Fab Foundation’s Sherry Lassiter estimated that Fab10 attendance doubled from last year’s Fab9.

Exciting for me (as Program Director for Maker Faire) was to meet FabLab-originated Maker Faire producers from Rome, Torino, Barcelona, Leon (Spain), San Diego plus applicants from Cairo and Madrid. I saw evidence of Fab Lab Tulsa, which puts on the Tulsa Mini Maker Faire, and I met also with interested parties from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nice and Grenoble.

Also part of the week was the culmination of the Global Fab Awards, a digital fabrication innovation contest organized by the Fab Foundation in collaboration with the World Bank and USAID. The goal was to assemble and promote the best and most life-changing projects that have been recently developed with then Fab Lab, MakerSpace and HackerSpace community. I like that the list of completion finalists includes links to source files for each project.

Slideshow of just some of the exhibiting Global Fab Awards projects and people of #Fab10:

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Today’s symposium on “The Fab City” has featured future-minded engineers and designers at the edge of materials science, design and architecture. Review the complete Fab10 program here.

Gershenfeld announced this morning that next year Fab11 will go home to Cambridge, MA, and in 2016, Fab12 will go to China.

Sabrina Merlo

Sabrina is the Maker Faire Program Director. She works on stage content for the flagship fairs (Bay Area & New York), and also runs Maker Faire’s licensing program for locally and independently produced “Mini” Maker Faires. She also co-creates the East Bay Mini Maker Faire in her town, Oakland, CA.


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