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Posted 20.11.15

College collaborating with FabLab Devon to deliver free workshops

By Jake May

We're collaborating with FabLab Devon and Exeter Library to deliver a range of free FabLab workshops for adults and young people across the region.
 

Fab Lab Plymouth manager Ian Hankey will offer an introduction to processes such as 3D printing, 3D scanning, laser cutting and 3D design during three workshops at FabLab Devon, based in Exeter Library, starting on Monday 30 November.

The 2.5 hour sessions, which have limited spaces but are completely free, are an excellent opportunity for members of the public to find out first-hand about the potential offered by 3D printing and FabLab technology – and can be booked online now.

"We’re living in an age where you could build your own 3D printer for as little as £350 and run it on free open source software, so the barriers to 3D printing aren’t as high as they might seem." Ian Hankey, Fab Lab Plymouth manager.

A free adult beginners Design Your Own Furniture session will run on Monday 30 November, from 2pm until 4:30pm, at Exeter Library.

That will be followed by a free adult beginners Design Your Own Jewellery session on Thursday 10 December, from 4pm until 6:30pm.

And the final session, aimed at beginner eight to 16-year-olds, is a Make A Look-Alike Marionette Puppet class that will run during half term on Tuesday 16 February, from 1pm until 3:30pm, at Exeter Library.

Some of the 3D-printed work made using technologies in FabLab Plymouth.

Fab Lab Plymouth manager Ian Hankey, who is also an award-winning designer and Master Glassmaker, said: "The work being done in FabLabs around the world utilises cutting edge technology, but people shouldn’t be intimidated by that idea.

"I manage the Fab Lab at Plymouth College of Art now, but a couple of years ago I’d never used technology like this.

"My background is in hot glass blowing, which is a simple process that hasn’t changed in over 2000 years.

"Using CAD (Computer-Aided Design) is completely different, because there’s a computer interface between you and the end result, but the results can be spectacular.

"The work being done in FabLabs around the world utilises cutting edge technology, but people shouldn’t be intimidated by that idea." Ian Hankey, Fab Lab Plymouth manager.

The three sessions at FabLab Devon – which is on the ground floor of Exeter Library, next to the Business and Information Hubin Exeter Library – are part of a county-wide collaborative project funded by Devon County Council.

A total of 50 free FabLab taster sessions will be held in primary schools, secondary schools, FabLabs and public libraries across Devon, from Plymouth to Seaton to Barnstaple – with all sessions led by Fab Lab Plymouth Manager Ian Hankey.

FabLab Plymouth, based in our Craft, Design and Fabrication Workshops in our Tavistock Place campus.

Ian added: "Anybody familiar with the technology can use it to replicate seemingly clever objects, but I try to teach people to be comfortable enough with it to use the technology creatively.

"We’re living in an age where you could build your own 3D printer for as little as £350 and run it on free open source software, so the barriers to 3D printing aren’t as high as they might seem.

"Obviously there’s a limit to what I can teach in an introductory session, but I want people to experience for themselves how easy it can be, so that they’ll feel comfortable visiting their local FabLab to learn more.”

Book online for the sessions here.

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