Wednesday August 20th:
We are low on staff today. The lab will be open, but if you need to learn to work with new machines that will not be possible.
If you intend to visit for the first time this week it might be a good idea to postpone untill next week.
The lab will remain open every Wednesday in July and August.
On popular request we've updated the library of footprints for the fablab's most common components and attempted to remove as many bugs as possible. Download latest version.
Last week we've welcomed a film crew in our fablab, and they compiled a neat video with impressions of our fablab (in Dutch).
2014-03-03 AGENDA 2014
The agenda for the second semester has been announced (download) with four fascinating activities planned: a seminar on 3D printing (Thursday 6 March, 5 pm), an introduction to the new plasma cutter (Wednesday 12 March, 5 pm), the third edition of our welding introduction (Wednesday 27 March, 5 pm) and last but not least, a large scale teardown of decommissioned printers to recover parts (Wednesday 23 April, 5 pm).
We can't imagine a fablab without websites like EEVblog, Hackaday or Edaboard. They served as a source of inspiration for countless projects, and those valuable pieces of example code or reference designs we're all so often looking for to get that last piece of hardware or software working, or simply to get started with a new project. Unfortunately, powerful forces are at work behind the scenes to bring and end to the free sharing of information we've all gotten used to and appreciate so much. With efforts being undertaken by ISPs and lobby groups to slow down non profit websites or web services like Wikipedia in favor of the rich guys like Facebook and Google and charge more for the same bandwidth, we're quickly running out to time to act. Join the action now and stand side by side with the Free Internet by urging members of the European Parliament to demand necessary amendments to the proposal before the vote.
2014-02-12 MICRO ELECTRONICS REFLOW WORKSHOP
The ever decreasing size of electronic components has long passed the point of manual solderability, making reflow technology necessary for prototyping of modern electronic surface mount components. On 18 February 2014, the first Fablab Brussels Reflow Workshop will be held at 4.30 pm. Participation is free of charge but you must bring your own surface mount components and PCBs (which can also be manufactured in our fablab). Please register for this workshop by email at the address yannick [dot] verbelen [at] vub [dot] ac [dot] be. Hope to see you there!
2014-02-12 EMBEDDED WORLD 2014
From 25 to 27 February 2014, the historic city of Nürnberg, Germany will once again be hosting the largest conference and exhibition for micro electronics and embedded systems in Europe. Embedded World 2014 will provide visitors an insight in technology of tomorrow, and Infineon is giving away free tickets. Register for your ticket today with voucher code B277355 and make sure to visit Infineon's booth at Embedded World 2014!
Whenever Elektor publishes a new addendum to their inventory, the attention of all electronics enthusiasts in Fablab Brussels is caught
in an instant. They surprised more than a few by covering unknown territory, with the release of their first 3D printer targeted at electronic prototyping. A cheap alternative to a laser cutter for manufacturing enclosures of prototypes and small production batches, we believe this initiative definitely has a future.
2014-01-29 GROWING BRUSSELS BITCOIN ADOPTION
Thanks to a stabilizing value and increasing mass media coverage, the world's first widely used digital currency Bitcoin has finally gotten itself a foothold in Brussels too. Cellular carrier Mobile Vikings has started accepting Bitcoin as payment for its mobile communication services. This makes Brussels customers the first in the world to be able to purchase mobile communication services with the currency of the future. We hope the trend is set, and more goods and services will become available to the Brussels Bitcoin community and early adopters soon.
At the Brussels Fablab, we're always interested in technologies that contribute to wiping the millions of deadly and polluting cars surrounding us from the face of the Earth. The VC200 volocopter is one such development worth mentioning. After their succesful first flight in 2011, the team behind the genious idea of extrapolating common quadrotor technology to a large scale design now presented the maiden flight of the VC200.
2013-11-30 ARDUINO REFERENCE POSTER
Element14, Elektor and its associate Circuit Cellar have released a neat Arduino reference sheet in poster format, perfectly suited as a quick aid to
those starting development on the Arduino platform. Download your copy for free (beware, it's 56 MB -- download low res version instead).
2013-11-28 RAPIDPRO 2014
RapidPRO 2014 has officially been announced, and will again take place in Veldhoven, near Eindhoven, The Netherlands. The exposition can be visited free of charge, but registration is mandatory. New this year is the split between the professional section, and a seperate part dedicated to home and hobby users of rapid prototyping technology.
2013-11-26 3D PRINTING LITHIUM ION BATTERIES
Recent 3D printing technology advancements could allow Li-Ion batteries of near arbitrary size to be prototyped using 3D printing manufacturing techniques, as demonstrated by new Harvard research. This would open up interesting new opportunities for custom battery packs in energy harvesting as well as mobile robotics applications.
2013-11-24 PROGRESS IN PLASTICS: 3D PRINTING
Our fablab is proud to host the next Crosstalk, chaired by fablab crew member Stijn! Interesting talks on sustainability issues, policies, technology challenges and intellectual property considerations
are scheduled to start at Thursday 28/11 at 2 pm.
2013-11-20 CREATIVE SCIENCE
Even NASA doesn't always take Science too seriously...
2013-10-18 OPEN SCIENCE: SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has earned himself a strong reputation in the open science and information access community. On October 24 he will visit the VUB to give a lecture on scientific integrity, and how to prevent fraud using open access principles to improve information exchange. Participation is free of charge for VUB students and reseachers, but registration is mandatory. A delegation of our fablab will also attend this conference, we hope to see you there!
2013-10-11 STACKABLE ELECTRONICS STORAGE
Laurent ingeniously solved the electronic chaos that has been taking over his desk for months by designing custom stackable and modular storage elements with the exact right height for bread board prototypes, multimeters and assorted electronic tools. Feel free to drop by in the lab and make your own on our laser cutter!
Some Altium Designer users have been unable to login to Altium Designer due to a seemingly random network problem. As it turns out, virtual network adapters like Tunngle, VirtualBox and Teamviewer interfered with Altium Designer, causing these login issues. Disabling the corresponding network adapters solves the problem.
2013-10-01 DESIGN AUTOMATION & EMBEDDED SYSTEMS
On Wednesday 9th October, the 2013 edition of the conference Design Automation & Embedded Systems will be held in the Brabanthallen in 's Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Many industrial and academic institutions will be giving presentations on their specialized fields. And the best of all: free entrance tickets are available thanks to the generosity of leading circuit board manufacturer Eurocircuits. So make sure to visit their booth!
It goes without saying that our fablab is closely following any further developments in this field, as the discovery may ultimately result in the ability to construct quantum computers and, more importantly, lightsabers.
2013-09-28 3D PRINTING IN SPACE
The two main factors making space exploration as expensive as it is today, are the costs to launch a payload into orbit, and the efforts to design this equipment so that it survives its harsh journey through the atmosphere. Both problems could be solved by manufacturing equipment in space using extraterrestrial 3D printing techniques. The technology aims to make space exploration faster and cheaper in the future.
If you'd like to suggest some ideas for objects that can be made in space as a test case for the technology, you can submit them here.
2013-09-26 FREEDOM NOT FEAR 2013
While the aftermath of the hacking indicent of the Belgacom servers by the UK Secret Services GCHQ is still ongoing, Brussels has the honor to host Freedom Not Fear 2013. More relevant than ever since Edward Snowden revealed some of our government's dirtiest secrets, (h)activism, privacy protection and safeguarding civil rights are among the topics on the agenda of Freedom Not Fear 2013, the third edition of this growing conference on one of society's hottest topics at the moment.
Join the delegation of our fablab this weekend in the fight against goverment surveillance if you happen to be in Brussels, and participate in discussions yourself to contribute your point of view to the debate! Expect a large numer of interesting sessions that may radically alter your view on your government for years to come. We are all Anonymous. Hope to see you there!
2013-09-25 NIGHT OF THE RESEARCHERS
On September 26 and 27, the 8thEuropean Night of the Researchers takes place, with this years theme "Living Longer with Science". The programme for the closest event location, at the Planetarium at Heizel, can be found here (in Dutch).
2013-09-22 PCB REFERENCE CARDS
Nothing is quite as frustrating as designing a circuit board, and noticing after it is manufactured that some traces are narrower than you expected, or that some holes are too small to fit the leads of the component(s) you wanted to install. Philip Peter solved this design issue with the design of a PCB reference card, visualizing the sizes of various common PCB elements, dummy footprints for common surface mount components, and probe holes from 0.35 mm to 2.2 mm. A mandatory tool for every PCB designer that will save tons of frustrations. Buy you own copy or download the production files to make your own in our fablab!
The latest addition to the ever growing, nearly infinite list of possibilities created by 3D printing technology is the design of a 3D printed robotic hand. Completely open source, printed with a low cost 3D printer and actuated with off the shelf low cost DC motors, the project aims to reduce prices of prosthetic arms with a factor 100.
2013-09-1 INTEGRATION IN THE VUB
We are proud to announce that from October 1, 2013 our fablab will be partially integrated into the Vrije Universteit Brussel (VUB). A university with international recognition and appreciation despite its size, the VUB attracts domestic and international students with a wide variety of interests. We are looking forward to welcoming VUB students with a passion for engineering, hacking and making in our lab!
2013-08-01 IN THE PICTURE @ OHM2013
The Belgian Hackerspace Village has grown to a popular hangout for hackers, makers, hacktivists and prototypers. It currently also serves as the HQ for our mobile fablab!
Our equipment has been featured by the NOS and nrc.nl (in Dutch).
2013-07-13 FABLAB @ OHM2013
A delegation of our fablab will join the Belgian Village at OHM2013 from 31 July to 4 August for five days of intensive
hacking and prototyping amids 3,000 enthusiastic geeks, scientists, artists and alike! The number of participants is limited,
so if you're planning on meeting us there, don't hesitate with getting your tickets.
2013-07-11 3D PRINTING EVENT 2013
From 21 October to 25 October 2013, the 3rd annual 3D Printing Event will be held in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Sessions cover
five days and are presented by experts in the field of 3D printing, targeted at hobby, industrial prototyping and education.
2013-06-26 PROTOTYPING EVENT 2013
An important aspect of our engagement to familiarize the industry with state of the art prototyping technology, Fablab Brussels was present at the
2013 Prototyping Event in BUDA::lab, Kortrijk. On display were, among others,
the first successful attempts at vacuum forming in our lab!
2013-06-24 INTRODUCING THE PROTOMAT S63
We are proud to present the latest addition to our fablab: a brand new LPKF Protomat S63 PCB milling machine!
The 14 brave teams that took on the endeavor of building a robot capable of serving coffee, presented their
creations during a final showdown of the Design Project. Take a minute to admire some of the submissions online.
2013-05-30 ANTWERP SECOND HUB FOR 3D-PRINTING
has revealed a list of 16 locations (het Laatste Nieuws, in Dutch) within the city where consumers can print out their 3D models, making it the 2nd largest 3D printing
hub in the world. Models can be printed starting at € 5 and counting € 0.40 per cm3.
2013-05-25 3D-PRINTER SAVES LIVES
Public awareness of 3D-printing technology in Belgium is steadily increasing, as more 3D-printing related news
reaches national headlines. The news of
a 3D-printer saving the life of a baby (Het Nieuwsblad, in Dutch) helps to counteract the negative weapons related
issues that brought 3D-printers under attention in the past weeks.
2013-05-24 VAWTS MADE @ FABLAB BRUSSELS
Students 3rd Bachelor Electromechanics Ruben De Smet & Evert Van Geite have designed
and manufactured scale models of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) in our fablab.
Watch their achievements
online to get a better impression of our lab's capabilities.
2013-05-23 FLYERS AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
Our brand new Fablab Brussels flyers have rolled off the press, and are available to
high schools and academic institutions for distribution among their pupils and students.
Give us a call,
let us know how many you'd like, and we'll send them to you a.s.a.p.! Alternatively, you can
download the flyer directly from our website and print it out yourself.
2013-05-14 PLASTIC 3D-PRINTED GUN: CAN I MAKE ONE?
As lab managers we will tell you that we do not allow the manufacture of weapons in our lab, and that under Belgian law it is illegal to make a working firearm without proper licence.
As engineers we will tell you it is a stupid idea to use plastic to build a firearm.
You should instead train yourself to use our lathe and our CNC-mill, so you can make accurate parts in high tensile strength carbon steel.
We still will not let you build a weapon in our lab, but at least then you will know how to make more interesting things, like electric cars, windmills, and unbreakable cellphones.
2013-05-13 PLASTIC GUN
There has been a lot of noise around the 3D-printed plastic gun this week. I believe the American perspective is somewhat different than ours, adding to the complexity of responding to this issue.
We installed four Makerbot Replicator 2X machines, printing with ABS. The tutorials are yet to be updated, but the user interface is similar to the older machines.
2013-03-24 NEW 3D-PRINTER
We installed a third Makerbot. We now have a ABS-based Replicator1 and two PLA-printing Replicator2 machines. I have also updated the Makerbot tutorial, adding info on PLA vs ABS-plastic and a chapter on troubleshooting. I recommend you have a look, even if you are already familiar with the printers.
You can find the updated tutorial on the desk behind the Replicator1.