Fab Lab London

Multidisciplinary team of makers

35 Marylebone Rd, Marylebone, London NW1 5LS, UK

Fab Lab

Space size 1125 m²

Opened in September 2014

Structure type Social entreprise

Explored in March 2016


🇫🇷 Depuis notre exploration, Fab Lab London a fermé ses portes en juin 2017. Découvrez tous les autres ateliers ouverts de Londres sur Open Workshop Network !

-

🇬🇧 Since our exploration, Fab Lab London has closed in June 2017. Discover all London’s community workshops on Open Workshop Network

We’re a creative workspace for anyone to make (almost) anything, through digital fabrication and rapid prototyping. We help individuals and companies learn about the application of digital technologies, rapid hardware prototyping, 3D printing and sustainable design practices.

Social networks

Main interests

Energy & environment Science & biology Design Agriculture Self-sufficiency Recycling & upcycling Electronics Education Community Entrepreneurship Robotics Industry & innovation Food

This workshop is great for:

Every single person & organisation!

The closest workshops nearby are:

  • London hackspace
  • Makers café
  • Machines room
  • South london makerspace
  • Fablab north greenwich

Interview & guided tour

Meet someone from the team & discover the space by yourself!

Our workshop

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

In 2013, Andrew Gregson was running a company he was about to shut down, while he was discovering the maker movement. An idea came, opening his own space to mix technologies and sciences, which he brought to his friend Tony Fish. Why? “To apply technology to a social context! Projects need to have a purpose, have benefits with social aim for people.”

In early 2014, the space was found and Fab Lab London company cofounded. By the summer, they had the keys. “We bought two drills to bring the wall down, and assembled the lab in 4 months from recycled materials at 80%!” The great opening happened in September 2014.

It was aimed at makers. “In the UK, a maker is someone who makes jam, textile, crafts, not necessarily an engineer. My mom makes cakes, my son makes a mess. The lab was focused on IoT, Tech, digital fabrication at the beginning.”

The interests are wider now with projects about food, smart materials, bio-techs, fin-techs, green-techs. “You can apply what we do here to many many contexts, environments, markets. But we were doing too much, and now we are trying to do less and less. To focus.”

According to Andrew, there’s no main profile within Fab Lab London’s community. “It’s everybody, from kids, to old engineers and craftsmom, along with startups, business, parents, bankers, innovators, product designers, agencies, companies, universities, school teachers, students, artists, disabled people. We try to span as much as possible.”

Fab Lab London members projects span over a wide range of interests: IoT, tech, digital fabrication, food, smart materials, bio-techs, fin-techs or green-techs like Andrew.

People coming discovered Fab Lab London through Google mostly, word-of-mouth and personal networks, social media, and come often to pay a first visit out of curiosity.

“Most of them come back, especially during the OpenDays. But it take them sometimes 6 months after the first visit.”

Fab Lab London is a social enterprise created in 2014 and self-funded with 25.000 euros. Andrew Gregson and Tony Fish (the two cofounders) did the space renovation themselves and bought/recycled/funded the machines.

Today, the Fab Lab is a 15-people ecosystem (associates, interns and volunteers) with a 400 members community. Through its different income sources - internal/external events, workshops/classes, commercial work, work with large organisations, personal funds, memberships, grants - the yearly budget is approx. 64.000 euros.

“We try to create value as an ecosystem. Every contract is brought to the 15-people enlarged team, someone’s up, does the job, get paid with a margin taken by the Fab Lab and everyone’s happy.” They’d like to develop a fund to invest (taking equity) in startup hosted/born in the Fab Lab, to have a “channel” of Educate, Make and Grow activities.

Their indicators of Fab Lab London’s good health? “The survival (laughs), the diversity of projects coming through the doors, the kids saying they wanna work here and how busy we are all the time!”

Fab Lab London’s team works as a flat organisation through shared projects. “We try to create and foster a community, with more or less 15 people in this small ecosystem: 4 associates, interns who come here to do their own projects, projects for the lab and help with stuffs everyday and volunteers.”

“We have a very open approach when someone new arrives. Safety instructions, teach how to use the machines at least, invite the person to make a project, think of one, and come up with something to contribute. They’re then invited for the monthly beers and pizzas, run the lab introduction with us and get opportunities for paid work: events, design, etc.”

To stimulate the Fab Lab, the team tries to find specialists who can come to create their own classes and workshops and run it. They can then generate some revenues out of it, build their own reputation while the community can enjoy the events and possibilities.

“One of the models we trying to work on is to have people come to the lab, form a group to work with and an idea, and start a Kickstarter campaign. Like Suzie and Amin (two interns) with Pegged In project.

Fab Lab London uses several tools to document and communicate on a daily basis. “We have a wiki to capture operational information. On the blog and social media, it’s more about marketing and shout about what we’re doing.”

“We try to document but we’re not great at it. Documenting the projects is up to the users. They do it on the wiki and the blog. We’ll be sharper with projects like the irrigation and aquaponic system.” Get a look at their wiki and blog!

Fab Lab London also does the FabAcademy since 2015. Two students are taking it this year, their documented projects website is accessible here.

In 2013, Andrew Gregson was running a company he was about to shut down, while he was discovering the maker movement. An idea came, opening his own space to mix technologies and sciences, which he brought to his friend Tony Fish. Why? “To apply technology to a social context! Projects need to have a purpose, have benefits with social aim for people.”

In early 2014, the space was found and Fab Lab London company cofounded. By the summer, they had the keys. “We bought two drills to bring the wall down, and assembled the lab in 4 months from recycled materials at 80%!” The great opening happened in September 2014.

It was aimed at makers. “In the UK, a maker is someone who makes jam, textile, crafts, not necessarily an engineer. My mom makes cakes, my son makes a mess. The lab was focused on IoT, Tech, digital fabrication at the beginning.”

The interests are wider now with projects about food, smart materials, bio-techs, fin-techs, green-techs. “You can apply what we do here to many many contexts, environments, markets. But we were doing too much, and now we are trying to do less and less. To focus.”

According to Andrew, there’s no main profile within Fab Lab London’s community. “It’s everybody, from kids, to old engineers and craftsmom, along with startups, business, parents, bankers, innovators, product designers, agencies, companies, universities, school teachers, students, artists, disabled people. We try to span as much as possible.”

Fab Lab London members projects span over a wide range of interests: IoT, tech, digital fabrication, food, smart materials, bio-techs, fin-techs or green-techs like Andrew.

People coming discovered Fab Lab London through Google mostly, word-of-mouth and personal networks, social media, and come often to pay a first visit out of curiosity.

“Most of them come back, especially during the OpenDays. But it take them sometimes 6 months after the first visit.”

Fab Lab London is a social enterprise created in 2014 and self-funded with 25.000 euros. Andrew Gregson and Tony Fish (the two cofounders) did the space renovation themselves and bought/recycled/funded the machines.

Today, the Fab Lab is a 15-people ecosystem (associates, interns and volunteers) with a 400 members community. Through its different income sources - internal/external events, workshops/classes, commercial work, work with large organisations, personal funds, memberships, grants - the yearly budget is approx. 64.000 euros.

“We try to create value as an ecosystem. Every contract is brought to the 15-people enlarged team, someone’s up, does the job, get paid with a margin taken by the Fab Lab and everyone’s happy.” They’d like to develop a fund to invest (taking equity) in startup hosted/born in the Fab Lab, to have a “channel” of Educate, Make and Grow activities.

Their indicators of Fab Lab London’s good health? “The survival (laughs), the diversity of projects coming through the doors, the kids saying they wanna work here and how busy we are all the time!”

Fab Lab London’s team works as a flat organisation through shared projects. “We try to create and foster a community, with more or less 15 people in this small ecosystem: 4 associates, interns who come here to do their own projects, projects for the lab and help with stuffs everyday and volunteers.”

“We have a very open approach when someone new arrives. Safety instructions, teach how to use the machines at least, invite the person to make a project, think of one, and come up with something to contribute. They’re then invited for the monthly beers and pizzas, run the lab introduction with us and get opportunities for paid work: events, design, etc.”

To stimulate the Fab Lab, the team tries to find specialists who can come to create their own classes and workshops and run it. They can then generate some revenues out of it, build their own reputation while the community can enjoy the events and possibilities.

“One of the models we trying to work on is to have people come to the lab, form a group to work with and an idea, and start a Kickstarter campaign. Like Suzie and Amin (two interns) with Pegged In project.

Fab Lab London uses several tools to document and communicate on a daily basis. “We have a wiki to capture operational information. On the blog and social media, it’s more about marketing and shout about what we’re doing.”

“We try to document but we’re not great at it. Documenting the projects is up to the users. They do it on the wiki and the blog. We’ll be sharper with projects like the irrigation and aquaponic system.” Get a look at their wiki and blog!

Fab Lab London also does the FabAcademy since 2015. Two students are taking it this year, their documented projects website is accessible here.

Technologies & processes available

3D printing 3D scanning CNC milling Electronics Laser cutting Vinyl cutting Computing & softwares Wood working tools Metal working tools Robotics

Services offered

Space rental Prototyping Classes & workshops Open moments Workshop memberships

Our best practices

The inspiring things we do here to run our collaborative space

Becoming a volunteer in the fablab

What is it?

In its 15-people enlarged team, Fab Lab London associates and interns welcomes volunteers who commit to help at least on Fridays (the fablab Open Days).

In concrete terms?

Volunteering at the Fab Lab is a commitment to help at least on Fridays where the Lab is open for free access. “This would involve helping members of the public with the various machines, processes and techniques the fablab offers. You can also help out with some of the workshops or events we host during the year. These range from weekly meetup groups, corporate innovation events to working with young people in Fab Kids. The fablab’s commitment to its volunteers are a free training on the machines and processes used at Fab Lab London, and an access to Fab Lab equipment during the week to make projects (subject to Fab Lab commercial and member bookings). All information here.

Why it’s interesting?

Fab Lab London’s volunteering system is mutually beneficial. The community grows, the volunteers are helped to learn, develop skills and the fablab can rely on them for the Open Days and even more!


Creating value for the fablab ecosystem

What is it?

Fab Lab London is not just a regular team, but more a 15-people ecosystem with associates, interns, volunteers and members. And they’re building a model where the value is redistributed in the ecosystem.

In concrete terms?

Andrew Gregson: “we try to create value as an ecosystem. Every contract is brought to the 15-people enlarged team, someone’s up, does the job, get paid with a margin taken by the fablab and everyone’s happy.” Beyond the team, anyone can create a workshop/class, run it, generate some revenues out of it!

Why it’s interesting?

How to build sustainable fablabs and communities? The ability to create value as an ecosystem, distribute it through the community (instead of concentrating it through the fablab organisation) is a challenge, but Fab Lab London bring interesting elements to work on it.


Partnership with Barclays UK to open Eagle Labs

What is it?

Fab Lab London team helped Barclays UK (bank) to think and open the Eagle Labs national network.

In concrete terms?

The team at Fab Lab London helped Barclays form and implement a labs strategy and have been deeply involved in the building out of their first three labs. The plan is based on opening up under-utilised spaces in their branches and offices to help boost the UK’s digital and maker skills. Barclays is following the Fab charter and will give customers and non-customers in local businesses and communities the opportunity to learn about new technologies and techniques that will be critical to helping the UK to thrive in the digital age including digital fabrication, laser cutting, 3D printing, electronics and coding.

Why it’s interesting?

Fab Lab London welcomed Barclays in the fablab, taught them how to use and build such a space, to understand the global philosophy. It now gave birth to a long-term partnership.


Discover other workshops MakerTour explored

Fablab Côte d'Opale

Atelier de fabrication numérique

Calais, France
Fab Lab Coworking space

BriCoLab

Espace collaboratif de fabrication

Ronchin, France
Company workshop

La Machinerie

Tiers-lieu de développement local participatif

Amiens, France
Fab Lab Third-place Coworking space