Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

The Fab Lab Global Network

The CU Community Fab Lab is part of a global network of Fab Labs that work with communities and organizations all around the world. Most Fab Labs are attached to a host organization and, as a consequence, they vary widely in scale and function. Some examples include:

  • Businesses and Incubators
  • Technical Training Institutes, like Community Colleges
  • Museums and Libraries
  • Community-Centers and Government Offices
  • Universities and Schools
  • Some are stand-alone Makerspaces

Regardless, they all strive to enable more people to participate in rapid fabrication and innovative prototyping through sharing similar tools, software and ideologies. We stay connected through annual global and regional conferences as well as the Fab Academy training program.

Interpreted Charter

Fab Foundationseamed.fwCenter for Bits and AtomsOur adaption of the global Fab Lab Charter (since 2009):

  • Mission:  fab labs are a global network of local labs, enabling invention by providing access for individuals to tools for digital fabrication.
  • Access:  you can use the fab lab to make almost anything (that doesn’t hurt anyone); you must learn to do it yourself, and you must share use of the lab with other uses and users.
  • Education:  training in the fab lab is based on doing projects and learning from peers; you’re expected to contribute to documentation and instruction.
  • Responsibility:  you’re responsible for:
    safety:  knowing how to work without hurting people or machines
    cleaning up:  leaving the lab cleaner than you found it.
    operations:  assisting with maintaining, repairing, and reporting on tools, supplies, and incidents.
  • Fair Use:  designs and processes developed in fab labs must remain available for individual use although intellectual property can be protected however you choose. We highly encourage patrons make materials, code and techniques open source!
  • Business:  commercial activities can be incubated in fab labs but they must not conflict with open access, they should grow beyond rather than within the lab, and they are expected to benefit the inventors, labs, and networks that contribute to their success