Fab Lab UNI

Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Av. Tupac Amaru 210, Rímac

School workshop

Space size 120 m²

Opened in June 2011

Structure type Public company

Explored in September 2018


Fab Lab UNI, first Fab Lab in Latin America, offers to students and teachers of the University UNI the knowledge and machines to bring the courses to another level with digital fabrication.

Main interests

Technology - machines & tools Industry & innovation Education Architecture

This workshop is great for:

Schools & universities Teachers Students

Our workshop

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

As its name suggests, the Fablab UNI is located in the Nacional Engineering University (UNI) in Lima. Contrary on many university labs that were created thanks to the motivation of teachers, the Fablab literally suddenly landed without anyone could anticipate it. Like a third kind meeting…

Indeed, it was difficult to anticipate the appearance of a concept that didn’t even exists in South America. The FabLab concept came to Lima in the UNI in 2011 thanks to two Peruvian students, Benito Juarez (a former student of the UNI) and Victor Freudt, who studied in Spain the FabAcademy, the help of the FabFoundation and the cooperation agency of Spain. All those forces gave birth to the first FabLab in Latin America: the FabLab UNI. But at that time, its name was the FabLab Lima. Thus at a certain point in time, the FabLab Lima and the FabLab UNI were a unique place managed by Benito and Victor.

Discover more about the FabLab Lima story

The modification of the name and the creation of two distinct spaces were the result of tensions between the Fablab team and the university in 2013. The lab creation project was financed by the cooperation agency of Spain through the university. But when the university put financial pressure on the lab to show more project developments and results, it was difficult for the lab team to get access to the funds, investigation being an uncertain end. Thus the Fablab team moved outside the university with the idea to develop the concept elsewhere taking with them the name ‘‘FabLab Lima’’. In parallel, to have higher control over the FabLab, the university decided to use internal human resources to manage it. Then the still alive makerspace in the university adopted the name FabLab UNI.

After that event, being in a public university, the FabLab UNI evolved according to the rhythm of regularly university board changes and therefore strategies. This didn’t help the lab to stabilize its offer to students, teachers, and companies.

Nevertheless, it is open to every people in the University. And it tends to be more and more included in the curriculum as more and more teachers are part of it.

Oliver Castillo Ramos is the one behind the spotlights who works every day for 2 years to support students and teachers with digital fabrication, to maintain the space and to achieve services for clients.

For his first job, this mechanical technician was looking for a place to apply and to develop his technical skills while giving birth to ideas. In addition to his key role to maintain the machines park, he put all his energy to train students to digital fabrication and to give them the trigger to start creating and inventing new concepts.

However, his field of action is limited: he doesn’t have the power nor the time to develop new activities but he can suggest improvements. Victor Yañez, the Fablab Director, is the one able to validate his propositions and to make big changes. He is responsible for the administration, the communication and the strategy of the space. He works in close collaboration with the Dean, Jose Beingolea del Carpio, to decide the amount and use of the budget, the integration of the Fablab in the curriculum, the services offered to external users and its participation to events.

Since its creation, in 2011, the team has changed many times with an important shift in 2013 when the founders, Benito Juarez and Victor Freudt, external to the University, were replaced by internal resources of the University. This change is one of the reasons why the use of the Fablab decreased over the years. The new dean, actually in charge of the University, has clearly identified the key role of the team members for the success of the place and he is looking for the person(s) able to help the actual team with a new impulse.

Besides the engineering curriculum which is the DNA of the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (UNI), the University benefits from a national reputation of excellence in architecture, which shelters the Fablab in its campus area. As a consequence, the major part (80%) of the users are students from architecture who come by curiosity the first years and by necessity to last years to achieve their projects. If few teachers are using the space, they are more and more interested in its potential to support the production of maquettes for their students but also to develop their creativity and new complementary skills. They also see the opportunity to use the making spirit « test&learn » to train them how to iterate with prototypes to improve their design with real users feedbacks. As a consequence, some of them ask Oliver to train their students during the class sessions and to support them in their pedagogic projects. Students or teachers can also be trained on demand and then, they can use freely the machines under the supervision of Oliver. However, to use the machine for free, they have to write a project proposal, after an interview with Oliver, to defend their idea and to justify their demand. They receive an answer in a week.

This process and the lack of integration of digital fabrication in the curriculum are two brakes to diversify and to increase the number of users. However, despite its difficulties well known by the dean, the space is used by 5 to 10 person every day and this number can triple at the end of the semester. The elective courses (furniture design, weaving workshop, …) helped to break the barriers between the department (engineer, architecture, …) but what makes it living is the key role of a user, Walter Gonzales, teacher for 15 years and maker internationally reputed within the Fablab Network. This industrial designer and architect has always seen digital fabrication as an opportunity to support the Peruvian culture such as a possible threat. Indeed, it could be a powerful tool to democratize the ancestral art by simplifying the processes but it can also erase the Peruvian culture and values if it’s applied without taking into consideration its environment and local impact. To direct it in the good direction, Walter dedicated lots of time and energy to develop within the lab famous weaving workshops which received International prices, highlighting the Fablab UNI internally but also externally. A new book and a new line of investigation are in the pipe for him and the dean aims to open an intern and transversal contest to produce projects to encourage students to push the Fablab doors.

To launch the lab in 2011, the cooperation agency of Spain financed all the machines. Also, to give the key to manage the makerspace to Victor Freudt and Benito Juarez, this institution financed their FabAcademy training at the Iaac in Barcelona one year before. In return for this, they had to manage the space for two years.

Then the university UNI supported them by giving them a space inside the university.

To support its operational costs (raw material), the team developed investigations with and for companies and municipalities and consulting missions.

But since the departure of the initial fablab team in 2013, the lab is more seen as an educational asset for the university. Thus, to be sustainable is no more the objective.

As its name suggests, the Fablab UNI is located in the Nacional Engineering University (UNI) in Lima. Contrary on many university labs that were created thanks to the motivation of teachers, the Fablab literally suddenly landed without anyone could anticipate it. Like a third kind meeting…

Indeed, it was difficult to anticipate the appearance of a concept that didn’t even exists in South America. The FabLab concept came to Lima in the UNI in 2011 thanks to two Peruvian students, Benito Juarez (a former student of the UNI) and Victor Freudt, who studied in Spain the FabAcademy, the help of the FabFoundation and the cooperation agency of Spain. All those forces gave birth to the first FabLab in Latin America: the FabLab UNI. But at that time, its name was the FabLab Lima. Thus at a certain point in time, the FabLab Lima and the FabLab UNI were a unique place managed by Benito and Victor.

Discover more about the FabLab Lima story

The modification of the name and the creation of two distinct spaces were the result of tensions between the Fablab team and the university in 2013. The lab creation project was financed by the cooperation agency of Spain through the university. But when the university put financial pressure on the lab to show more project developments and results, it was difficult for the lab team to get access to the funds, investigation being an uncertain end. Thus the Fablab team moved outside the university with the idea to develop the concept elsewhere taking with them the name ‘‘FabLab Lima’’. In parallel, to have higher control over the FabLab, the university decided to use internal human resources to manage it. Then the still alive makerspace in the university adopted the name FabLab UNI.

After that event, being in a public university, the FabLab UNI evolved according to the rhythm of regularly university board changes and therefore strategies. This didn’t help the lab to stabilize its offer to students, teachers, and companies.

Nevertheless, it is open to every people in the University. And it tends to be more and more included in the curriculum as more and more teachers are part of it.

Oliver Castillo Ramos is the one behind the spotlights who works every day for 2 years to support students and teachers with digital fabrication, to maintain the space and to achieve services for clients.

For his first job, this mechanical technician was looking for a place to apply and to develop his technical skills while giving birth to ideas. In addition to his key role to maintain the machines park, he put all his energy to train students to digital fabrication and to give them the trigger to start creating and inventing new concepts.

However, his field of action is limited: he doesn’t have the power nor the time to develop new activities but he can suggest improvements. Victor Yañez, the Fablab Director, is the one able to validate his propositions and to make big changes. He is responsible for the administration, the communication and the strategy of the space. He works in close collaboration with the Dean, Jose Beingolea del Carpio, to decide the amount and use of the budget, the integration of the Fablab in the curriculum, the services offered to external users and its participation to events.

Since its creation, in 2011, the team has changed many times with an important shift in 2013 when the founders, Benito Juarez and Victor Freudt, external to the University, were replaced by internal resources of the University. This change is one of the reasons why the use of the Fablab decreased over the years. The new dean, actually in charge of the University, has clearly identified the key role of the team members for the success of the place and he is looking for the person(s) able to help the actual team with a new impulse.

Besides the engineering curriculum which is the DNA of the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (UNI), the University benefits from a national reputation of excellence in architecture, which shelters the Fablab in its campus area. As a consequence, the major part (80%) of the users are students from architecture who come by curiosity the first years and by necessity to last years to achieve their projects. If few teachers are using the space, they are more and more interested in its potential to support the production of maquettes for their students but also to develop their creativity and new complementary skills. They also see the opportunity to use the making spirit « test&learn » to train them how to iterate with prototypes to improve their design with real users feedbacks. As a consequence, some of them ask Oliver to train their students during the class sessions and to support them in their pedagogic projects. Students or teachers can also be trained on demand and then, they can use freely the machines under the supervision of Oliver. However, to use the machine for free, they have to write a project proposal, after an interview with Oliver, to defend their idea and to justify their demand. They receive an answer in a week.

This process and the lack of integration of digital fabrication in the curriculum are two brakes to diversify and to increase the number of users. However, despite its difficulties well known by the dean, the space is used by 5 to 10 person every day and this number can triple at the end of the semester. The elective courses (furniture design, weaving workshop, …) helped to break the barriers between the department (engineer, architecture, …) but what makes it living is the key role of a user, Walter Gonzales, teacher for 15 years and maker internationally reputed within the Fablab Network. This industrial designer and architect has always seen digital fabrication as an opportunity to support the Peruvian culture such as a possible threat. Indeed, it could be a powerful tool to democratize the ancestral art by simplifying the processes but it can also erase the Peruvian culture and values if it’s applied without taking into consideration its environment and local impact. To direct it in the good direction, Walter dedicated lots of time and energy to develop within the lab famous weaving workshops which received International prices, highlighting the Fablab UNI internally but also externally. A new book and a new line of investigation are in the pipe for him and the dean aims to open an intern and transversal contest to produce projects to encourage students to push the Fablab doors.

To launch the lab in 2011, the cooperation agency of Spain financed all the machines. Also, to give the key to manage the makerspace to Victor Freudt and Benito Juarez, this institution financed their FabAcademy training at the Iaac in Barcelona one year before. In return for this, they had to manage the space for two years.

Then the university UNI supported them by giving them a space inside the university.

To support its operational costs (raw material), the team developed investigations with and for companies and municipalities and consulting missions.

But since the departure of the initial fablab team in 2013, the lab is more seen as an educational asset for the university. Thus, to be sustainable is no more the objective.

Our makers projects

Get inspired by the DIY projects of our team & members

Urban bench for an University main hall

The benches have been designed to be both ergonomics, designed and flexible. They can be installed with different configurations depending on the users’ needs, the flow of the circulation or the design of the space.


Belt loom for blind people

It’s an innovative and low-cost loom where the wood panels are replaced by plastic circles which enable blind people to change the colors of the weaving and to easily select a thread to make drawing with a Braille code.

As a result, it is easier to learn and to use and the productivity to make craft belts is increased by 4, by blind people such as sighted person.


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