Over the past year, many creations, surprising collaborations, special assignments, and beautiful studies have been done. Here’s an attempt to give a ‘short’ overview of everything we’ve seen come through FabLab Enschede.

We started the year with the Fashion Carrousel for the Fashion & Textile Technology program, where we explained the available digital techniques and how they can be applied to textile.
During the International Project Week in February, the FabLab was busy with students creating a prototype for their client in just one week. In the spring, we also provide many introductory lessons for Mechanical Engineering students, Electronics students, Computer Media & Game Technology students, and Entrepreneurship & Retail Management students. We challenged the students of Technical Business Administration to develop a prototype with limited technological knowledge, resulting in hilariously oversized prototypes, hopefully preparing them for better collaboration with colleagues from an R&D department in the future. Civil Engineering students worked on a scale model of a bridge that must support 10 kilograms with only wooden connections and glue, leading to thrilling videos testing the strength of the bridges until they broke.

The autumn, also known as the beginning of the new school year, always starts with tours in the Introduction Week. In the second week of September, the classes of Computer Media & Game Technology occupied the FabLab, as they created their own board games with the Print & CUT plotter, UV printer, 3D printers, and laser cutters. Colleague Jorik Ordelmans provided practical lessons this autumn for the Computational Design & Digital Making course, in which the 3rd year students learn the ins and outs of digital manufacturing techniques at the FabLab to create optimal prototypes. Also in the autumn, there were introductory lessons for 1st year students in Entrepreneurship & Retail Management, Industrial Product Design, and the Creative Design & Technology course. The 1st year Architecture students received lessons in 3D design and 3D printing in November, after which over 120 models were printed in December. A student group from Smart Cities learned Arduino programming to explore the possibilities of programming.

New this year were the 1st year students of Creative Business. A workshop on laser cutting, plotting, and 3D printing was organized for a selected group (mostly vocational school entrants).

This year, we initiated explorations for the KIEM project ‘Digitalization of special make-up effects workflow‘ in collaboration with Saxion XR Lab, where 3D scanning is employed to create special make-up effects for the TV and film industry.
We also contributed to the RAAK PRO HITEX project of the Lectorate Sustainable Textiles for the technical development of attaching LED lighting to tent material, enabling a shelter tent to be equipped with light and to be self-sufficient through special solar panels.
Furthermore, we are involved in the technical development of a chip tool to allow nano-particles in liquid medication to react through minute channels for the NWA project Nanospresso of the Nanotechnology Lectorate.

External Users & Special Collaborations
Digital artist Anne Horel spent a week in March experimenting at the FabLab to showcase her art using various digital techniques. This collaboration stemmed from working with Sickhouse, view the full article here. Earlier this year, we also provided various 3D prints for the Museumfabriek, such as a miniature Altar Stone, replicas of coins, and a steam engine.
In May, 2 students from the AKI Academy of Arts & Design approached the FabLab with a request for a 3D-printed casing for their ceramic vase. The student assistants, Herjo and Daniil, enthusiastically assisted and this led to the winning design presented to King Willem Alexander of Orange. Check out the article here.

In June, we provided a workshop on 3D design in Fusion 360 for the Association of Hospital Instrument Makers. This makes 3D printing technology more accessible to hospitals and their research. Additionally, in June, we experimented with AI Rendering with a startup company by allowing a group of students to use the developed AI render tool for a test evening. We also presented ourselves to external parties through a booth at the IDC event in May, and in June, we were present with our drawing robot during Art in the Volkspark.

This year we said farewell to our creative colleague Djoeke Hurkens and welcomed former student assistant and recent graduate Emmy Kerssen with enthusiasm. Our permanent staff member Dorien Schutten went on maternity leave and was replaced by Fast Forward Trainee Tom Scholten. See also https://www.fablabenschede.nl/info/fablab-team/

We have also seen changes in the machines;

  • A laser cutter has been replaced by a new Epilog laser cutter with camera positioning.
  • The LPKF S62 PCB mill has replaced the old PCB mill, allowing for the two-sided machining of PCBs.
  • We acquired a Wazer waterjet cutter this year. The Wazer enables us to cut through materials that are beyond the capabilities of our laser cutters, such as composites, metals, glass, and more!

All in all, it’s been a dynamic year with a variety of tasks, and we’re already looking forward to exciting projects lined up for 2024. Here’s to a creative and challenging 2024!