Maine FabLab's first lab was created in June 2013 by Engine, a non-profit arts organization located in Biddeford, Maine. Engine had been working on the idea of a FabLab for several months when the organization was introduced to Sarah Boisvert of Greenwood Technologies, who was looking for a bricks-and-mortar location for Maine FabLab. Engine took over the direction and administration of the program in the fall of 2013 and is currently developing Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELOs) for after-school, Saturday, and summer camp experiences.
Maine FabLab's beta-site is located within a multi-purpose space that also houses Engine's exhibition and workshop/classroom space. Maine FabLab 1.0 will be located in the future Marble Block Art + Design Center, a historic building located on Biddeford's Main Street.
Ultimately, technicians, operators and senior designers will be on staff to help inventors who come in develop their prototypes. Fees will be paid for level and length of design support, amount of materials used, etc. but it will be open access. Furthermore, inventors, entrepreneurs, makers, students, teachers, professors, artists, designers and hackers will be able to share know-how and skills, software and programming, as well as ideas and concepts, if they so choose.
FABLABS AROUND THE WORLD
Other FabLab style rapid prototyping facilities and maker spaces in the world have:
- Fostered innovation across industries
- Helped spin-off start up companies
- Generated new ideas & products for existing companies
- Created production work for the machine tool, medical device, biotech, consumer products, and microelectronics industries to name a few
- Created jobs on the operator & technician level as well as the senior designer level at the FabLab
In addition, the community outreach activities:
- Give college & university faculty & staff access to new technologies & advanced equipment
- Present opportunities for college students to explore ideas beyond the classroom & possible work/study opportunities
- Teach our young people to make things using their hands and their imaginations, as well as their brains
- Increase interest in STEM [ScienceTechnologyEngineeringMath] among school children
- Afford the opportunity to collaborate with other FabLabs in the world, including the MIT facility in Cambridge MA
- Afinia H-Series 3D printer: Accuracy within .15mm; 5″ cubed build envelope.
- Two MakerBot Replicator2 3D printers. Build envelope 11.2" x 6.0" x 6.1"; Layer resolution: 100 microns [0.0039"]
- Kinect Sensor 3D scanner/station
- Media lab with six brand new iMacs
- Access to design and digital fabrication software such as Blender, Sketchup, TinkerCAD and other 3D rendering programs
- Three Leap Motion sensors for intuitive digital modeling
- Shapeoko CNC Mill. Footprint 11"x11"x2", 1/8" collet size
- High precision 3D Printer
- CO2 laser cutter & marker
- UV laser micro-machining workstation
- CNC & micro-CNC machine tools
- 3-D plotter & scanner
- Design & fabrication software