Fablab U. de Chile

Av. Beaucheff 851, Santiago, Región Metropolitana

Fab Lab School workshop

Space size 450 m²

Opened in January 2014

Structure type Public university

Explored in November 2018


This Fab Lab works within the University of Chile's Enginnering School and is open to the whole community. Through the use of technology, the democratization of the means of production and the collaborative models, we want to be a pole of development of products based on technology and science, solving the needs of our community and contributing to the national productive fabric. We offer free weekly workshops, and we have programs for projects and Hardware startups.

Contact

+562 2978 4384
Member of Fab Labs world network and Red de Fablab de Chile

Social networks

Main interests

Technology - machines & tools Social initiatives Community Entrepreneurship Robotics Industry & innovation Health & well-being Education Energy & environment Science & biology Recycling & upcycling

This workshop is great for:

Designers Teachers Students General public Hobbyist makers Makers pro Craftsmen Entrepreneurs Artists Seniors Schools & universities Small & medium businesses

Our workshop

Learn more about our space, members, machines & services!

It is no longer surprising to discover a successful lab, in terms of the legitimacy in the eyes of university or company management team, that initially started with a small team, no budget, and an improvised space. In the case of FablabUdechile that wasn’t necessarily a foregone conclusion at the beginning.

Indeed, the lab is settled in a public university of 700 students per level per year with strong traditions and for which the golden productivity indicator is the number of papers. There are 90 labs and 13 interdisciplinary centers. In that very theoretical context, the new lab looked like a UFO.

In fact, mechanical students and teachers created a space to fill the lack of practical experimentation in 2012. This new way of investigation and the profusion of projects attracted students and teachers from other careers and also companies to do open innovation.

Administratively, to reflect the evolution of this diversity and its global nature, the responsibility of the lab went to the « General administration », but on a more longer time-scale (2 years and a half), giving to the lab an official recognition.

The mission of the lab is to offer a space to anyone (citizens, entrepreneurs, companies, students, teachers,…) for free to experiment but also to share methodologies (prototyping, project management, industrialization phases…) and new technics thanks to digital fabrication.

Its goals are to teach and help innovative projects from the idea to the final market.

« The innovation makes sense when it meets the market »

“A makerspace is made-up of a physical space, machines and a team. Among these 3 components, the most important is the team. With a great team you can do much more than with a high-tech machine park”. For Danisa Peric, human is the key success of a space. Since her arrival in the team, as a designer, she defended this statement that enabled her, with her experience and skills, to quickly become the operational Director and to turn the space into an effective change player for the University.

Her first experience in the maker movement with a project of lab mobile and her manual skills as a designer and carpentry gave her the tools to progressively build a strong team. During 2 years, she worked side by side with Víctor Contreras Rojas, designer and former member of the space who naturally became the technical leader of the space. Under the supervision of Juan Cristóbal Zagal, the Academic Director at the origin of the project, their complementary personalities and skills made their duo successful. Their open mindset even enabled them to be supported by users of the community, as co-owners of a common house, to perform the daily tasks and to improve the space. The results and trust they acquired gave to Danisa and Juan the arguments required to leverage a budget to hire 5 new members at the beginning of 2018:

  • Mercedes Baldovinos, in charge part-time of the communication
  • Joakin Ugalde, a mechanical engineer specialized in robotics, in charge of the community of students
  • Gonzalo Olave, intern as an electrical engineer, specialized in robotics and support of the team to organize the activities
  • Joaquín Rosas, industrial designer, in charge of the community of entrepreneurs
  • Bruno Grossi, specialized in biology, in charge of the community of teachers

The strength of the team lies in the diversity of profiles and on the management based on confidence, collaboration, and personal fulfillment. There is no grey zone: everyone knows his role and responsibilities and is free to manage his time to perform his objectives and the common objectives of the team. They have divided the work into each type of users (teachers, students, entrepreneurs) but everyone is involved in the 3 main activities which are Learning, Producing and Connecting. Every week they gather during a team meeting to share their thoughts, fails, doubts, ideas without getting into an operational track of personal tasks. Risks and errors are encouraged. Danisa plays the role of coordinator to foster the ideas, to value everyone passion, to catalyze the energies and to get consistent results. She also ensures the sustainability and represents the team with the internal and external institutions.

“Our most valuable asset is our community”. This statement made by Danisa Peric, the Director, just put words on a feeling you have when you cross the doors of the space. All the open source projects shared on their website is just the tip of the iceberg. Together, the students (50%), the teachers (15%) and the entrepreneurs (35%), supported by the team, are making the most of the space resources to prepare the future with 2 core values: collaboration and professionalism.

If you share these values, you can learn digital fabrication, use the 450m2 space full of machines and get the support of the 7 members team and of the community…for free! In return, all the ideas to enhance the space and the help to the team is welcomed and you can share with the community your experience during talks, events or workshops. Easy! But to do what?

Students of U. de Chile (mainly mechanical engineers but recently electronics, science, architecture, …) and other universities come for a personal project, to investigate for their thesis or to complete their internships working with the team or with entrepreneurs on their projects. However, this great opportunity to meet professionals, develop their potential of entrepreneurs is difficult during their studies, despite some digital fabrication courses, offered in the curriculum, due to a lack of free time. To tackle this challenge the team attracts teachers to support them in their investigation and to design jointly courses where students will have the time to learn and to practice. They are also working side by side with OpenLab, the center of innovation and entrepreneurship of the University, to rehabilitate the process of making as the cornerstone of the entrepreneurship learning.

Nothing is better than leading by example. If this strategy was used to promote the impact of the Fablab showing successful projects to the directors and during events, it is also used to show to students examples of successful entrepreneurs’ projects. Thus, since 2 years, the team designed a clear offer to attract innovative and promising projects: the “Residency” and the “Hardware startup”. If the first aims to guide people with ideas linked to the ONU sustainable goals until a viable prototype in 6 months, the second one is oriented for running and financed start-ups to support them from a viable prototype to a ready-to-commercialize product. This free resources and atmosphere of the space attracted many entrepreneurs. Some of them being so involved in the daily life of the space that there are even considered half-team/half-user but all are supportive, helping each other during the monthly Fab meeting.

Eventually, everyone is welcomed to benefit from free workshops to learn digital fabrication, the prerequisite to use the machines, and to the advanced workshops where projects are made in a team based on a topic where a related entrepreneur, researcher and company are invited. The objective is clear: to transfer new high-level knowledge research into a real-life application product with social impact.

In 2012, the lab started with a very low budget. The first users, who were essentially mechanical students and teachers of the university, had then no solution than to build their own machines. In 2013, the lab knew a tremendous impulse thanks to the 290 000 US$ help from the Chilean ministery of education.

Since then, the lab has evolved. Today, it is open and free for every student and teacher of the university. Both for the use of the machines and a reasonable quantity of materials. Beyond certain limits, users have to bring their own material. As an example, students can consume until 200g of PLA per month for 3D printers.

Also, citizens, entrepreneurs, and companies who are looking for a space to investigate on projects related to environmental solutions, social impact and education have a free access to the lab. But the lab is not a place to produce products like a manufacturing company.

All those users are helped by a team of 5 full-time employees (since 2018).

This activity generates a global operational cost of 210 000 US$/year (since 2018). 2/3 of this cost is financed thanks to the CORFO subsidiary program named « Ingeniera 2030 » which purpose is to support the rise of entrepreneurship spirit in Chilean engineering universities to compete with world famous graduate schools. The rest of this annual budget is at the expense of the U. de chile university.

The plan is to be independent of the CORFO subsidiary program by 2021. Either the cost will be fully supported by the university or thanks to business activities. The first situation tends to be the elected one as the lab is more and more considered as a teaching entity of the university. In 2018, 50 people were involved in courses for students via the lab.

It is no longer surprising to discover a successful lab, in terms of the legitimacy in the eyes of university or company management team, that initially started with a small team, no budget, and an improvised space. In the case of FablabUdechile that wasn’t necessarily a foregone conclusion at the beginning.

Indeed, the lab is settled in a public university of 700 students per level per year with strong traditions and for which the golden productivity indicator is the number of papers. There are 90 labs and 13 interdisciplinary centers. In that very theoretical context, the new lab looked like a UFO.

In fact, mechanical students and teachers created a space to fill the lack of practical experimentation in 2012. This new way of investigation and the profusion of projects attracted students and teachers from other careers and also companies to do open innovation.

Administratively, to reflect the evolution of this diversity and its global nature, the responsibility of the lab went to the « General administration », but on a more longer time-scale (2 years and a half), giving to the lab an official recognition.

The mission of the lab is to offer a space to anyone (citizens, entrepreneurs, companies, students, teachers,…) for free to experiment but also to share methodologies (prototyping, project management, industrialization phases…) and new technics thanks to digital fabrication.

Its goals are to teach and help innovative projects from the idea to the final market.

« The innovation makes sense when it meets the market »

“A makerspace is made-up of a physical space, machines and a team. Among these 3 components, the most important is the team. With a great team you can do much more than with a high-tech machine park”. For Danisa Peric, human is the key success of a space. Since her arrival in the team, as a designer, she defended this statement that enabled her, with her experience and skills, to quickly become the operational Director and to turn the space into an effective change player for the University.

Her first experience in the maker movement with a project of lab mobile and her manual skills as a designer and carpentry gave her the tools to progressively build a strong team. During 2 years, she worked side by side with Víctor Contreras Rojas, designer and former member of the space who naturally became the technical leader of the space. Under the supervision of Juan Cristóbal Zagal, the Academic Director at the origin of the project, their complementary personalities and skills made their duo successful. Their open mindset even enabled them to be supported by users of the community, as co-owners of a common house, to perform the daily tasks and to improve the space. The results and trust they acquired gave to Danisa and Juan the arguments required to leverage a budget to hire 5 new members at the beginning of 2018:

  • Mercedes Baldovinos, in charge part-time of the communication
  • Joakin Ugalde, a mechanical engineer specialized in robotics, in charge of the community of students
  • Gonzalo Olave, intern as an electrical engineer, specialized in robotics and support of the team to organize the activities
  • Joaquín Rosas, industrial designer, in charge of the community of entrepreneurs
  • Bruno Grossi, specialized in biology, in charge of the community of teachers

The strength of the team lies in the diversity of profiles and on the management based on confidence, collaboration, and personal fulfillment. There is no grey zone: everyone knows his role and responsibilities and is free to manage his time to perform his objectives and the common objectives of the team. They have divided the work into each type of users (teachers, students, entrepreneurs) but everyone is involved in the 3 main activities which are Learning, Producing and Connecting. Every week they gather during a team meeting to share their thoughts, fails, doubts, ideas without getting into an operational track of personal tasks. Risks and errors are encouraged. Danisa plays the role of coordinator to foster the ideas, to value everyone passion, to catalyze the energies and to get consistent results. She also ensures the sustainability and represents the team with the internal and external institutions.

“Our most valuable asset is our community”. This statement made by Danisa Peric, the Director, just put words on a feeling you have when you cross the doors of the space. All the open source projects shared on their website is just the tip of the iceberg. Together, the students (50%), the teachers (15%) and the entrepreneurs (35%), supported by the team, are making the most of the space resources to prepare the future with 2 core values: collaboration and professionalism.

If you share these values, you can learn digital fabrication, use the 450m2 space full of machines and get the support of the 7 members team and of the community…for free! In return, all the ideas to enhance the space and the help to the team is welcomed and you can share with the community your experience during talks, events or workshops. Easy! But to do what?

Students of U. de Chile (mainly mechanical engineers but recently electronics, science, architecture, …) and other universities come for a personal project, to investigate for their thesis or to complete their internships working with the team or with entrepreneurs on their projects. However, this great opportunity to meet professionals, develop their potential of entrepreneurs is difficult during their studies, despite some digital fabrication courses, offered in the curriculum, due to a lack of free time. To tackle this challenge the team attracts teachers to support them in their investigation and to design jointly courses where students will have the time to learn and to practice. They are also working side by side with OpenLab, the center of innovation and entrepreneurship of the University, to rehabilitate the process of making as the cornerstone of the entrepreneurship learning.

Nothing is better than leading by example. If this strategy was used to promote the impact of the Fablab showing successful projects to the directors and during events, it is also used to show to students examples of successful entrepreneurs’ projects. Thus, since 2 years, the team designed a clear offer to attract innovative and promising projects: the “Residency” and the “Hardware startup”. If the first aims to guide people with ideas linked to the ONU sustainable goals until a viable prototype in 6 months, the second one is oriented for running and financed start-ups to support them from a viable prototype to a ready-to-commercialize product. This free resources and atmosphere of the space attracted many entrepreneurs. Some of them being so involved in the daily life of the space that there are even considered half-team/half-user but all are supportive, helping each other during the monthly Fab meeting.

Eventually, everyone is welcomed to benefit from free workshops to learn digital fabrication, the prerequisite to use the machines, and to the advanced workshops where projects are made in a team based on a topic where a related entrepreneur, researcher and company are invited. The objective is clear: to transfer new high-level knowledge research into a real-life application product with social impact.

In 2012, the lab started with a very low budget. The first users, who were essentially mechanical students and teachers of the university, had then no solution than to build their own machines. In 2013, the lab knew a tremendous impulse thanks to the 290 000 US$ help from the Chilean ministery of education.

Since then, the lab has evolved. Today, it is open and free for every student and teacher of the university. Both for the use of the machines and a reasonable quantity of materials. Beyond certain limits, users have to bring their own material. As an example, students can consume until 200g of PLA per month for 3D printers.

Also, citizens, entrepreneurs, and companies who are looking for a space to investigate on projects related to environmental solutions, social impact and education have a free access to the lab. But the lab is not a place to produce products like a manufacturing company.

All those users are helped by a team of 5 full-time employees (since 2018).

This activity generates a global operational cost of 210 000 US$/year (since 2018). 2/3 of this cost is financed thanks to the CORFO subsidiary program named « Ingeniera 2030 » which purpose is to support the rise of entrepreneurship spirit in Chilean engineering universities to compete with world famous graduate schools. The rest of this annual budget is at the expense of the U. de chile university.

The plan is to be independent of the CORFO subsidiary program by 2021. Either the cost will be fully supported by the university or thanks to business activities. The first situation tends to be the elected one as the lab is more and more considered as a teaching entity of the university. In 2018, 50 people were involved in courses for students via the lab.

Machines & tools available

CNC milling Router 860 x 240 mm 3D Scanner ROLAND 3D Printer MAKERBOT REPLICATOR 2 CNC Router 3 EJES ROLAND MODELA MDX-20 CNC Router 3 EJES SHOPBOT PRSALPHA 96-60 1220x2440 CNC milling Router SHOPBOT 5-AXIS PRSALPHA 3D printer STRATASYS

Technologies & processes available

3D printing CNC milling Vinyl cutting

Services offered

Coaching & project mentoring Prototyping Free machines & tools access Residency programs Student Internship Projects & sprints sessions Startups & projects hosting Startups & projects incubation / mentoring Talks & conferences Community center Education missions

Our best practices

The inspiring things we do here to run our collaborative space

Programs to attract, select and support entrepreneurs

categories
Community Starting projects

What is it?

2 programs, “Residencias” and “Hardware start-ups”, have been designed to offer specific support to entrepreneurs.

In concrete terms?

After 3 years of existence, the fablab experienced difficulties to attract entrepreneurs with innovative projects designed to positively impact society. The team identified that one of the main reasons was the lack of knowledge of these users about the use of such space and their lack of understanding about the conditions of entry or the support offered by the team.

Why it’s interesting?

Having few programs but with transparent conditions, adapted support and a clear purpose allows to:

  • attract more entrepreneurs
  • attract entrepreneurs with more relevant profiles and projects
  • spend less time searching for profiles and more time supporting them
Contact : fablab851@gmail.com

Open-source projects documented and shared on the website

categories
Community Documenting the workshop’s life

What is it?

A process and an interface to easily enter the minimum information about a project to share it online with the community and all Spanish-speaker makers.

In concrete terms?

One of the objectives of the team is to promote the experience of learning by doing. Thus, they enhanced each user to share her/his project by filling information in a simple and easy interface linked to their personal account on the Fablab website. This interface, made of multiple choices list, small textbox and function to import files, makes it easy and quick to share the minimum information useful for other makers to understand and replicate/improve existing projects. Through this process of documentation, the users realize the path accomplished and value their work among the community and within the University. All the projects published are also examples used to attract new users among students and teachers and to promote the skills and experience developed in the lab.

Why it’s interesting?

Sharing the projects made in the lab with the internal and external community is a key of success to :

  • foster the collaboration among the users
  • encourage users to take advantage of the experiences and projects made by others to go further
  • promote the type of projects that can be made in the lab
  • help users to step back, through the documentation process, and realize the experience acquired along a project
Contact : fablab851@gmail.com

Our makers projects

Get inspired by the DIY projects of our team & members

Educative mini-biodigester

It is a didactic model that allows knowing and understanding the process of anaerobic biodigestion and the necessary conditions to achieve an efficient process of generation of biogas and digestate with organic residues at home.


Bio printer

Its is a multi-material printer made with a Makebot Replicator 2 hacked with an Arduino and the Marlin firmware.

An engine with a trapezoidal screw pushes a car through a nut, which in turn displaces the plunger of a syringe to drive water in a hose, generating pressure. This motor connects directly to a Prusa 3D printer system, to simplify the use of the machine.

The pressure generated pushes a plunger into another syringe mounted on the head of the printer. In this the material to be printed is deposited. The tip of the syringe has a thread by means of which tips with different diameters can be attached.

The software used for the tests was Repetier Host, modifying speeds and diameters of both the material and the extruder. The materials tested here have been clay, clay and silicone. There is a limitation regarding the volume of the piece to be produced, as well as the viscosity of the material, due to the power of the engine. The tips used were 1, 2 and 2.4 mm, printing speeds between 5 and 30 mm / s, and layer heights between 0.5 and 2 mm.


Discover other workshops MakerTour explored

Protein Lab

Santiago, Chile
Makerspace

Fab INACAP

Macul, Chile
School workshop

Valparaíso Makerspace

Valparaíso, Chile
Makerspace