High-Tech Design Studio Will Help Turn Ideas Into Reality (17/07/2012)
Scotland’s first public Digital Fabrication Laboratory has been launched at The Lighthouse in Glasgow which will encourage invention and innovation among the city’s entrepreneurs, businesses, teachers and students.
Creating the studio has been a collaboration between The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture, Glasgow City Council and Creative Scotland.
The MAKLab, while based at The Lighthouse , MAKLab is part of a global network, based on a concept started at M.I.T (Massachusetts Institute of Technology.) and is about giving people the opportunity, through open access, to make things for themselves.
MAKlab creates an opportunity to explore the ideas in Glasgow, a city with a rich and varied history of making and innovation. The MAKLab is a place to make almost anything, from the smallest piece of jewellery to large scale models, from t-shirt design to working prototypes. People can work with wood, plastic, metal, and fabric. MAKLab has the equipment to help produce it. The studio enables people to come in with ideas and learn how to develop them into reality.
The high-tech MAKLab allows public access to powerful desktop workstations; 3D printers and scanners and laser cutter and other computer controlled machinery.
The Lord Provost, who was helped at the launch by school children from Hyndland Secondary School, said: “At its heart MAKLab is about giving anyone, from a school’s pupils to businesses, a chance to develop and realise their ideas and turn them into a real products.
“I like the fact that you don’t have to be an expert in design or computer, you just need an idea that you want to see become real. The team at the MAKLab will then show you how to use the technology to make what you want. I am delighted that any Glaswegian with an idea will now get a chance to make it a reality.”
Caroline Parkinson, Director of Creative Development, Creative Scotland, said: “Providing opportunities for people to participate in creativity is central to our role at Creative Scotland. Helping the Lighthouse establish the MAKLab creates a space for everyone to try out their ideas in design and innovation with the aid of experienced designers – we hope young people to businesses and communities will enjoy and benefit from this service.”
Ian Elder, co-founder of the MAKLab, and Manager of the Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture, said: “With fantastic support from Glasgow City Council and Creative Scotland we have managed to create something totally unique that will get people, businesses and schools involved in design and innovation.”
Bruce Newlands (MAKLab Director) said: “Our aim with MAKLab is to reduce the gap between ideas and making, encouraging people to explore ideas, and for them to then be able to produce a physical prototype or product.”
Richard Clifford (MAKLab Studio Director) said: “The tools and equipment we have in our studio, allow people to take ideas, develop them on a digital platform then use the latest technology to produce everything from the smallest everyday component right up to fully working prototypes. The main thing for us is to help people turn ideas into reality.”
As well as access to powerful desktop workstations in the MAKLab, there will also be an opportunity to access a wide range of software with which people are free to design and then download and use at home.
Wi-Fi is provided free, and people will be encouraged to take their own laptop in to The Lighthouse, where they will be able to access the central MAKLab dropbox when they are ready to make their idea.
From July 2012, the MAKLab will offer and run a range of educational workshops which will sit within the National Curriculum for Excellence. These range in topic from product design through to urban design. The MAKLab can take groups of up to a maximum of 35 students for each of these sessions.