FAB9: Melbourne's newest high-tech makerspace
A makerspace that empowers inventors.
FAB9: Melbourne's newest high-tech makerspace
A makerspace that empowers inventors.
What kind of maker are you? A startup founder? An industrial designer? Engineer? Woodworker? Artist? Fashion designer? DIY enthusiast? Mad inventor? Something else entirely?
Maybe you’re an entrepreneur, creating the next world-changing product. An amateur tinkerer, working on a dream DIY project. Or perhaps you just enjoy making and the process of experimenting with different materials.
Whatever you make and however you make it, FAB9 will be a space for you - a ‘makerspace’ to be precise.
Launching in February 2019.
Purpose-built for designing and creating physical objects, FAB9 will be open to anyone for a monthly membership fee. Ours will be a space where makers of all disciplines and skill levels can access the training, tools, machines and equipment they need to turn ideas into physical realities.
But FAB9 will be more than just a physical space. We know that making is just one aspect of the journey you are on. That’s why FAB9 will also be a place of connection and community, where you can share skills and knowledge with like-minded people. We will host events and provide resources around marketing, PR, fundraising and supply chain, so you feel supported through each stage of your progress.
FAB9 will be made up of five distinct labs under one roof, each designed for working with different materials and / or making processes. Each lab will include a range of machines:
- The timber shop - including a sandblast cabinet, drill press, vertical bandsaw, horizontal bandsaw, table saw, thicknesser, planer, bandsaw, belt sander and sanding downdraft table
- The electronics lab - including multimeter, AC/DC power supply and digital oscilloscope. There will be PC computers with high end CAD / CAM software, cncluded in your FAB9 memberships is access to Solidworks via VPN.
The digi fab - including FDM & SLA 3D printers, vinyl printer, and industrial sewing machine
The CNC lab - which will house a Multicam Trident CNC router
- The metal shop (coming late 2019) - including a TIG/MMA welder, MIG welder and milling machine
From bright idea to dream-come-true, FAB9 is powered by a diverse and dynamic team of designers, engineers and storytellers, all working towards FAB9's official public launch in February 2019.
Construction of the space commenced in September 2018, and is scheduled to finish in December 2018. Our machines and equipment will be delivered and installed from December 2018 to January 2019.
To ensure our members have the best possible experience, we’ll begin our beta testing in January 2019, once all the machines have been commissioned.
A truly excellent makerspace needs truly excellent equipment, and we’ve got our eyes set on one piece in particular - the Epilog Helix 24, 60W laser cutter. The Epilog Helix 24 can cut wood, acrylics, plastics, and also engrave stone and metal.
Our dream? To raise $50,000 so we can buy an Epilog Helix 24 laser cutter - a critical piece of equipment for FAB9, that will streamline and accelerate the making process for many makers, across a range of disciplines.
Check out Epilog Helix 24 laser cutter specs page here.
When you make a pledge to help us reach our $50,000 goal, you’ll be rewarded with a host of exclusive FAB9 benefits, bundles and special experiences.
Our FAB9 monthly membership plans are designed to suit everyone, they're accessible on-demand, which means you can turn them on and off as you need. FAB9 memberships are valid for one month and can be renewed monthly.
Our Kickstarter-only earlybird membership prices are valid for one month, so they can only be redeemed once. However, if you want to take advantage of the earlybird membership price for multiple months, we have three months earlybird casual and part time memberships available.
To help us reach our goal, we’ve worked with some of our supporters, friends and collaborators to create a range of exclusive, highly-coveted rewards, specially tailored to kick-start 2019 as your official ‘Year of Making’! And if there’s a maker in your life who would love these special treats and experiences, each reward is available as a gift voucher - just in time for Christmas. BOOM.
FAB9 began in 2014, when Silicon Valley engineer Hans Chang became fascinated by the meteoric rise of the maker movement. Hans wanted to be a part of this global phenomenon of ordinary people taking making back into their own hands, so he decided to start a makerspace of his own.
In 2015, Hans teamed up with Evan Malone – the founder and president of NextFab, a network of makerspaces in Philadelphia. Evan believed in Hans’s project and became its angel investor.
With a burgeoning startup scene, vibrant culture of art and design, thriving community of independent makers and support from the Victorian government, Melbourne, Australia was chosen as the location for FAB9. FAB9 became official in 2016, when a heritage listed building in Footscray, known as The Dream Factory, was selected as its site. The building had already enjoyed a fascinating life, beginning as a rubber factory, then the site of all night rave parties, and later as the official headquarters of Lonely Planet. Today, it’s a hub for technology, design and social impact businesses, making it the perfect home for FAB9.
In 2017, Hans and Creative Director Ying started working with a team of architects, engineers, designers and writers to bring FAB9 to life. The space itself is the collaborative effort between architectural studios Ample (founded by Jas Johnston, Fabrication Workshop manager of Melbourne School of Design workshop at the University of Melbourne) and emerging practice Therefore, led by Alex Lake. Melbourne branding studio U-P developed the FAB9 graphic identity and website, and copywriting agency The Good Copy (of MPavilion fame) crafted FAB9’s language and voice.
Read more about our story here
FAB9 is well on track as we power towards our Feb 2019 finish. But we understand that before you pledge to this campaign, you’ll want as much assurance as possible. That’s why we’ll be giving everyone who purchases a FAB9 membership as part of our crowdfunding pre-sale 2 years to redeem it. If you don’t use your membership before the 31 December, 2020, come to FAB9 and we’ll give you every cent back.
We’ve got a chance to create something spectacular in bringing FAB9 to life. So we’re inviting the Kickstarter community to join in and help us open Melbourne’s newest high-tech makerspace - one that’s truly purpose-built for designers, engineers and makers.
As a team committed to working with and for people, we know that the backer community is essential in the development of FAB9 - and assisting us to reach our crowdfunding goal is just the beginning. What really matters to us is that you’ll love FAB9 - that you’ll engage with the space in a way that feels organic, productive and uplifting.
We want to know your feedback on our machine and tool selections, your thoughts on our classes and materials, and your suggestions for other services we could offer. We want to champion your ideas, boost your enthusiasm, celebrate your presence in our community.
An eclectic mix of people from different backgrounds brought together by our shared belief in the power of making.
- Architects Ample and Therefore
- Graphic identity U-P
- Brand tone of voice The Good Copy
- Services engineers WSP
- Building surveyor Steve Watson & Partners
- Builder Leeda Projects
- Carpentry Luke David Designs
- Video Karl von Moller
- Aerial footage UAvisuals
Risks and challenges
FAB9’s greatest challenge is also one of our greatest assets - the heritage listing of our site. This magnificent building isn’t just full of history - it’s also full of mystery! With every new thing we learn about it, ten more questions arise. Because there were no reliable technical drawings of the building on record when we began, we’ve had to approach each stage of development with a great deal of patience and respect. It’s meant some serious investments on our part - spending lots of time and money on making sure we always know exactly what we’re working with and the best, safest ways to move forward while protecting and honouring this special piece of Footscray’s industrial history. Luckily, our incredible builders, Leeda Projects, have not only executed every stage of construction with great thoroughness and care, they’ve also kept right on schedule! But we shouldn’t be surprised - Leeda Projects are responsible for some of Melbourne’s most renowned establishments, including Cumulus, Grossi Florentino and Cafe Vue at Melbourne Airport.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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