Fablab is opened for students: bring your idea to life

The presentation of the workshop-laboratory (Fabrication Laboratory) took place on the 16th of February. FabLab is located in the ITMO University Technopark.

Symbol of infinity, Möbius band - FabLab logo can be interpreted differently, Aleksey Shchekoldin thinks, the head of the laboratory. Three years ago, the FabLab itself was only a dream, which was not easy to implement. Today it is a laboratory equipped with modern devices and equipment.
"We walked a long way to this day, and finally, we can say that in ITMO University a place appeared, which is able to satisfy the needs of students who wish to develop science on their own. I hope that working with a serious equipment will develop the potential of students and attract new ones to the university. I'm sure this is just the beginning, and in case of successful FabLab performance its further extension will be only a matter of time." Alexander Kolousov, the head of the ITMO University Technopark.
Today the ITMO University FabLab has 3D-printers and scanners, milling machine with computer control system, laser engraver, UV printer, everything that is needed to create components for one's development or prototype.
The heads of the laboratory demonstrated the potential of the equipment and told how to use it. As noted in the laboratory, most FabLabs that exist in the world, are simply workshops, where people can come for work only. The ITMO University FabLab is going to be a coworking area, where students can socialize and look for friends to work on the projects together.
"If students bring us an interesting project we will provide them with our equipment and supplies for free. We are open to any ideas. Though, our materials are intended mostly for implementation of really useful and promising projects. There are several examples of the students who created their first business on the base of FabLab. This is what we are striving here for." Aleksey Shchekoldin says.
Free equipment and materials - is a principal position of the FabLab in ITMO University. In St. Petersburg, there are several similar organizations: one of them - FabLab in the Polytechnic University, is a partner of the new workshop.
"In the Polytech FabLab one should pay for the use of the equipment. This allows them to detect serious-minded students. However, we want to make our laboratory affordable and hope for understanding on the part of students." the FabLab head says.
The desire to be active engines of scientific progress brings together many students in ITMO University. In recent years, there have appeared several laboratories, which are organized by students and for students. Open laboratory of ideas, methods and practices (OLYMP) exists for two years already. About a hundred young people some of whom come from other universities or are not even students visit the laboratory every week. A year ago, at the Department of Applied and Computer Optics, students organized their own science lab of optical engineering.
"Our laboratory will certainly cooperate with FabLab. Despite the fact that we are more focused on educational activities, many programs of our laboratory are associated with the development of serious projects. It is really important for students when they are allowed to make something with their own hands. It gives them a feeling of satisfaction one can't get when buying some already made things." Maxim Ivaschenko says, the head of the OLYMP laboratory.
The doors of the FabLab are opened for students from 14:00 to 20:00 every day.
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