Monday, 11 June 2012

Visit to Fab Lab Airedale 16-5-12 Leeds Inventors Group

A large contingent of the Leeds inventors group arrived at Keighley Fab Lab for a tour of the recently opened facility. This is the latest in the worldwide network of fabrication labs previously described by Jane Keats in our meeting in September 2011.

The group were given an introduction to the idea of Fab Labs – a place where anyone intending to produce a new product can get easy access to design, engineering and manufacturing equipment to produce anything from chairs to cheeseboards to circuit boards to T-shirts. Video conferencing with other Fab Labs round the world is possible and the Fab Lab Academy offers a post graduate – level course in Digital Design & Fabrication, based on a course which originated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Apart from inventors, the facility is also being promoted to schools, colleges, community groups, local businesses and those thinking of starting a business. Staff are on hand to help use the various machines though for some a training course may be advisable. A certain amount of business coaching is also available for anyone based in Yorkshire and Humberside.
The group were shown examples of products produced and how the equipment created them. On Saturdays the equipment can be used without charge – however, inventors need to be aware that anything created for free is regarded as “open source” and is made public on the internet. Obviously any such disclosure could make the product unpatentable. There is a charge for using the equipment at other times, when staff are happy to sign non-disclosure agreements.


Fab Lab Airedale
Unit 24 Dalton Mill
Dalton Lane
Keighley  BD21 4JH
West Yorkshire
T: 01535 606703