FabLab Veritas

1km al oeste de Casa Presidencial, Zapote, San Jose

Fab Lab Mobile workshop

Space size 220 m²

Opened in January 2014

Structure type University department

Explored in July 2018


Fablab Veritas is a pioneer university fablab in Costa Rica which has implemented digital fabrication in both pedagogic programs and tools to adapt the learning process on the latest trends required by the industry and the market. It is focused on the management and development of design projects for social transformation and innovation.

Main interests

Fashion & textile Technology - machines & tools Social initiatives Community Entrepreneurship Furniture & house Design Clothing & accessories Art & culture Craftsmanship Education Electronics

This workshop is great for:

Every single person & organisation! Kids under 12 Adolescents between 12-18 Seniors Teachers Entrepreneurs Artists Craftsmen Schools & universities Small & medium businesses Large companies Public organisations Non-profit organisations General public Students

The closest workshops nearby are:

Our workshop

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

All started in 2014 with an idea of Thomas Del Camino who asked the Veritas University a 3D printer and laser cutter to allow students to hack product creation processes in the context of its Product Design courses. He succeeded as its own course has been hacked and the place located by the university moved to more a prototyping place than an innovation research center initially known under the acronym CINNO.

After the departure of Thomas and on the initiative of Robert Garita, the workspace integrated the FabLab network in 2015 and took the name FabLab Veritas to reflect this metamorphosis. Robert Garita, a former student of the Veritas University, was well aware of the wheelwork of this network as he did a master in architecture at IAAC in Barcelona where was built the first FabLab in Spain and that was the house of the initiator of FabAcademy, Fabcity and FabKids : Thomas Diez.

At that time, it was the first FabLab in Central America. To promote digital fabrication, Robert Garita participated in many events like TEDX where he shared the amazing FabLab mobile and mini fablab projects whose objective was to spread digital fabrication around all the country. He also created the association of FabLab Costa Rica to gather all costa rican makers.

This kind of project made the public, teachers, government and big companies like Kölby and Claro curious about digital fabrication. That led to a strong partnership with Kolby to build a FabLab mobile in 2018 and workshops financed by ministries. It also initiated the creation of other fablabs like the one of SIFAIS, a successful structure focus on social impact.

The FabLab is well integrated into the university as it developed teaching contents for students and is used for their projects. It allows some of them being part of the team as an assistant. Besides, it is open to anyone! The objective of the place is to create projects to have a social impact and teach digital fabrication.

Daniela, Alex and Vanessa. This is the core team of Fablab Veritas who enhance design process with digital fabrication in Costa Rica. To welcome you with a big smile while achieving their multiple daily tasks, they didn’t have the gift of ubiquitous but a lot of organization, passion and imagination. And for them, it’s not a choice but a necessity to look for efficiency in order to become a reference center of digital manufacture in Latin America.

Their first key success is a transparent and clear tasks repartition. Everyone is able to replace a member if required but usually, they stand in their position. Vanessa is the fabmanager in charge of business development, relations with clients, governments and of the strategy with the university. Alex is the technical supervisor and coordinator who is in charge of helping students and clients to design their projects and to produce them while maintaining the machines park. Daniela is in charge of the administrative and financial part of the lab and she helps users to register their brand as a CATI point (center for technological intellectual property). The communication and marketing part, which used to be handled by the team, is now performed by the University.

Secondly, they used their creativity to find a way to handle the increased workload when Roberto, the former director and founder of the place left in January 2018. Vanessa took the missions of Roberto, Alex was in charge of coordination tasks performed by Vanessa and they hired 8 students to be part of an assistants team. 6 of them of volunteers who look for machine training and free machines used against 10 hours of services in the lab and 2 are scholars who help 10 hours in the lab to reduce the scholar fees (see more in good practice).

Last but not least, the team is linked around the values of the University (respect, honesty y service) and their personal values and state of mind:open minded, collaboration, communication and adaptivity. The smooth transition before Roberto leaving and his support to the team after its departure is a good example.

As a university Fablab, 70% of the users are students from Veritas Universidad. Among the various fields of study offered in the school, most students come from architecture or design products specialties. Fashion design, animation or cinema are areas where digital fabrication potential is still not understood. Alex and its assistants team guide them to design their idea and to choose the right material and production process. Then they produced the product for them. For security reasons, only the core team and trained assistants are allowed to use the machines. Designing support is free and students are learning with the team how to use design software to digitally prepare the production of their product. However, they have to pay for the final production. The price depends on the machine and complexity of the project (time, material). 40% of the users are students from other universities, companies, entrepreneurs or institutions who are looking for training, designing or production services.

To grow the community, the team bet on the viral marketing with 2 levers. First the word-to-mouth of students who talked about the great projects they succeeded to design thanks to the Fablab, then the social networks used by the team to show what they were able to produce in the design area. This strategy bore fruits with an increasing number of students.

After 2 years, they decided to broaden the community externally by attending many events such as TedX or by organizing their own event, Encuentro de Diseño e Innovación (EDI), in partnership with the University and the mall company Multiplaza to show their design productions and expertise. As a result, companies, schools, and even the government contacted them to visit the place and they started working with them on innovation, education or social projects.

To foster this new maker community, the former Director, Roberto Garitas, created the association “Asociacion of Fab Lab Costa Rica” to gather makers in the country and work on common, local and impactful projects. A FabAcademy course was opened in 2017 to all Central American makers. He also launched in partnership with Kolbi, a famous Costa Rican telecommunication company, the project of a Fablab mobile to reach isolated citizens and show them how digital fabrication can change their activity. Keep an eye on these initiatives, results expected in 2019 ;-)

Like many other universities, University Veritas was first motivated to create a FabLab for its educational potential. So, since the beginning, the university covered the fixed and variable annual costs of the workplace which in 2017 was around 60 000$. It also progressively invested in a 50 000$ machine park. Aside from this investment, 3D system helped the lab by giving a 3D printer, Cube printer and 3D scanner with counterpart a sale of raw materials. During the first years, it was about seeing what can be done in a FabLab.

Think to impact first, finance then

Once the university discovers the lab can generate benefits, it asked the team to work on business development (while working on teaching and social impact projects) to be sustainable and finance projects.

Find a viable business model

In 2017, the lab generated a turnover of 32 000$ thanks to the workshops they created, the services they gave to companies and students and the projects they developed. As an example, the Ministry of Science and Technology financed courses to support entrepreneurs so they can learn digital fabrication and use it in their business. And Kolbi supported the creation of a FabLab mobile.

All started in 2014 with an idea of Thomas Del Camino who asked the Veritas University a 3D printer and laser cutter to allow students to hack product creation processes in the context of its Product Design courses. He succeeded as its own course has been hacked and the place located by the university moved to more a prototyping place than an innovation research center initially known under the acronym CINNO.

After the departure of Thomas and on the initiative of Robert Garita, the workspace integrated the FabLab network in 2015 and took the name FabLab Veritas to reflect this metamorphosis. Robert Garita, a former student of the Veritas University, was well aware of the wheelwork of this network as he did a master in architecture at IAAC in Barcelona where was built the first FabLab in Spain and that was the house of the initiator of FabAcademy, Fabcity and FabKids : Thomas Diez.

At that time, it was the first FabLab in Central America. To promote digital fabrication, Robert Garita participated in many events like TEDX where he shared the amazing FabLab mobile and mini fablab projects whose objective was to spread digital fabrication around all the country. He also created the association of FabLab Costa Rica to gather all costa rican makers.

This kind of project made the public, teachers, government and big companies like Kölby and Claro curious about digital fabrication. That led to a strong partnership with Kolby to build a FabLab mobile in 2018 and workshops financed by ministries. It also initiated the creation of other fablabs like the one of SIFAIS, a successful structure focus on social impact.

The FabLab is well integrated into the university as it developed teaching contents for students and is used for their projects. It allows some of them being part of the team as an assistant. Besides, it is open to anyone! The objective of the place is to create projects to have a social impact and teach digital fabrication.

Daniela, Alex and Vanessa. This is the core team of Fablab Veritas who enhance design process with digital fabrication in Costa Rica. To welcome you with a big smile while achieving their multiple daily tasks, they didn’t have the gift of ubiquitous but a lot of organization, passion and imagination. And for them, it’s not a choice but a necessity to look for efficiency in order to become a reference center of digital manufacture in Latin America.

Their first key success is a transparent and clear tasks repartition. Everyone is able to replace a member if required but usually, they stand in their position. Vanessa is the fabmanager in charge of business development, relations with clients, governments and of the strategy with the university. Alex is the technical supervisor and coordinator who is in charge of helping students and clients to design their projects and to produce them while maintaining the machines park. Daniela is in charge of the administrative and financial part of the lab and she helps users to register their brand as a CATI point (center for technological intellectual property). The communication and marketing part, which used to be handled by the team, is now performed by the University.

Secondly, they used their creativity to find a way to handle the increased workload when Roberto, the former director and founder of the place left in January 2018. Vanessa took the missions of Roberto, Alex was in charge of coordination tasks performed by Vanessa and they hired 8 students to be part of an assistants team. 6 of them of volunteers who look for machine training and free machines used against 10 hours of services in the lab and 2 are scholars who help 10 hours in the lab to reduce the scholar fees (see more in good practice).

Last but not least, the team is linked around the values of the University (respect, honesty y service) and their personal values and state of mind:open minded, collaboration, communication and adaptivity. The smooth transition before Roberto leaving and his support to the team after its departure is a good example.

As a university Fablab, 70% of the users are students from Veritas Universidad. Among the various fields of study offered in the school, most students come from architecture or design products specialties. Fashion design, animation or cinema are areas where digital fabrication potential is still not understood. Alex and its assistants team guide them to design their idea and to choose the right material and production process. Then they produced the product for them. For security reasons, only the core team and trained assistants are allowed to use the machines. Designing support is free and students are learning with the team how to use design software to digitally prepare the production of their product. However, they have to pay for the final production. The price depends on the machine and complexity of the project (time, material). 40% of the users are students from other universities, companies, entrepreneurs or institutions who are looking for training, designing or production services.

To grow the community, the team bet on the viral marketing with 2 levers. First the word-to-mouth of students who talked about the great projects they succeeded to design thanks to the Fablab, then the social networks used by the team to show what they were able to produce in the design area. This strategy bore fruits with an increasing number of students.

After 2 years, they decided to broaden the community externally by attending many events such as TedX or by organizing their own event, Encuentro de Diseño e Innovación (EDI), in partnership with the University and the mall company Multiplaza to show their design productions and expertise. As a result, companies, schools, and even the government contacted them to visit the place and they started working with them on innovation, education or social projects.

To foster this new maker community, the former Director, Roberto Garitas, created the association “Asociacion of Fab Lab Costa Rica” to gather makers in the country and work on common, local and impactful projects. A FabAcademy course was opened in 2017 to all Central American makers. He also launched in partnership with Kolbi, a famous Costa Rican telecommunication company, the project of a Fablab mobile to reach isolated citizens and show them how digital fabrication can change their activity. Keep an eye on these initiatives, results expected in 2019 ;-)

Like many other universities, University Veritas was first motivated to create a FabLab for its educational potential. So, since the beginning, the university covered the fixed and variable annual costs of the workplace which in 2017 was around 60 000$. It also progressively invested in a 50 000$ machine park. Aside from this investment, 3D system helped the lab by giving a 3D printer, Cube printer and 3D scanner with counterpart a sale of raw materials. During the first years, it was about seeing what can be done in a FabLab.

Think to impact first, finance then

Once the university discovers the lab can generate benefits, it asked the team to work on business development (while working on teaching and social impact projects) to be sustainable and finance projects.

Find a viable business model

In 2017, the lab generated a turnover of 32 000$ thanks to the workshops they created, the services they gave to companies and students and the projects they developed. As an example, the Ministry of Science and Technology financed courses to support entrepreneurs so they can learn digital fabrication and use it in their business. And Kolbi supported the creation of a FabLab mobile.

Machines & tools available

ProJet 460 Plus Cube Pro Trio Metal Plus Simple Metal Simple Makers Kit RedSail 1200x900 mm CamFive 900x600 Red Sail M-1325X Kingcut Artec Spider Sense scan Smart Citizen Kit Arduino Uno Raspberry Pi 2 Makey Makey Little Bits Phantom 3 Pro Drone Phantom 2 Drone Nero Drone column drilling machine crop table saw circular saw Thicknessers welding table Kinect Band saw

Technologies & processes available

3D printing 3D scanning Laser cutting CNC milling Electronics Wood working tools Traditional tools Vinyl cutting Drones

Services offered

Coffee shop Restaurant Prototyping Coworking space Free & open space to experience Classes & workshops Kids classes & holiday training courses Fabcafé Mobile workshop Education missions Design missions

Our best practices

The inspiring things we do here to run our collaborative space

Rely on students to handle peak workload

categories
Community The workshop team
  • What is it?

In order to find a solution to their overwork, the team decided to open positions for assistants among students of the University.

  • In concrete terms?

Students can apply for the assistant positions in the Fablab. They will work 10 hours per week. All the students are admissible. After a recruiting process, they will be trained for 6 hours and supervised during the first 20 hours of practice before being able to work as a member of the team. The training includes design software basis, configuration and use of the machines and soft skills development to be able to deal with external clients and users of the lab. In addition to the including training, students can use the machine for free for their personal or academic projects. Actually, 2 out of 8 students-assistants are working in the lab as a counterparty of their scholarships. Every quarter, students can be dismissed or can leave to be replaced by students selected in the waiting list.

  • Why it’s interesting?

For the students, this professional experience, from the recruiting to the services performed for clients, is a great opportunity to experiment with real working context. It’s also a chance to develop competencies in digital fabrication, to develop their soft skills and their creativity. For the team, after the first months of time investment, it enables to distribute the work among the assistants. Members also experiment with great feelings in building a core community they can see evolving, taking pleasure in their work and coming back with passion. Eventually, if the experience is a success, it’s a great opportunity to convert assistants in ambassadors to grow the community.

Contact : ahernandez@veritas.cr

Mini FabLabs to best suit the needs

categories
Community Space organisation Events Creating your workshop
  • What is it?

The Fablab veritas built mini Fablabs they bring with them when visiting new areas or attending events.

  • In concrete terms?

Three mini Fablabs have been built in partnerships with Bosh company who gave part of the tools and the Veritas University who helped finance the project. A mini FabLab is a small piece of furniture of 1m2. Each of them is dedicated to three essential Costarican needs noticed by the FabLab team:

  • 3D printing
  • CNC router & carpentry
  • Saw & carpentry

When standard machines are too big to fit the size of the furniture, the lab created small versions of them like the CNC router and 3D printing. Plus all are equipped with basic craft tools and electronic pieces like Arduino card.

When the FabLab team goes to a new area, they choose the mini FabLab that best suits the need of the area after a first diagnosis. Among the factor analyzed are if there have already production processes and which one and if there is internet connectivity. Thus they can fine-tune the content of the mini FabLab and adapt the workshops they organize.

  • Why is it interesting?

It is interesting at different levels:

  • First, it is a great tool to sensitize people to digital fabrication whatever space and place. It doesn’t need a big truck to transport all the machines. Just needs a car to transport the furniture. They brought mini Fablab in events like TEDx and FABx.
  • Then, it is good to test if there is a need for a FabLab. By lending the mini Fablab and observe if it is used. As an example, they lent a mini FabLab to the SIFAIS community who is settled in the most dangerous neighborhood of Costa Rica. Given the keen interest community has shown, SIFAIS decided to build its own Fablab.
  • Finally, it allows producing small things without settling an entire FabLab.

Maybe in a close future, everyone will have one in its garage!

Contact : fablab@veritas.cr

Our makers projects

Get inspired by the DIY projects of our team & members

Social transformation in the most dangerous place of Costa Rica

SIFAIS is more than a foundation. It’s a place of 10 000m2 near San Jose in Costa Rica. It’s also a community of people who learn and teach in order to transform the fatality in opportunity. Every day, volunteers are teaching to inhabitants of La Carpio, the most dangerous place in Costa Rica, more than 105 workshops (music, sports, english, …) and organized programs such as Montessori pedagogic training. A Fablab should open in August 2018 and they already use mini-fablab to empower abandoned citizens so that they can transform their living conditions while building a strong and pride community.


Award statue to reward sustainable designs

Those are three award statues fully made with the help of the FabLab veritas by Alejandro Barboza on behalf of the commision of climate change of the Colegio de Arquitectos de Costa Rica. It had to be of equal quality to that of the sustainable designs award-winning during the 2018 International Architecture Biennal Costa Rica for which the statue had been built.


Interactive model of Coco Island

The project “Isla de Coco” is an interactive model of the famous but remote Costa Rican island which stands for the master piece of the Coco island temporal exhibition in the national Costa Rican Museo (26/11/17 - 31/08/18).

Its objective is to immerse people in the nature and beauty of this wild and unknown piece of land in the middle of the sea, 594 km from the Costa Rica coast.

To achieve this, the first part of the project is a model made in laser cutting with the superposition of tens layers and the assembly of 6 units to reach a model of 5,64 meters of length, 3,38 meters of width and 0,35 meters of height.

The video mapping is the second component to give it life. In 2 minutes, people can see a typical day in the island, from the sunrise to the sunset, populated with sea animals that are escaping when you are interacting with them.


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