Fab Cafe

I recently heard about a new “Fab” idea from Tokyo: the Fab Cafe.  Think Internet Cafe with a laser cutter and a 3D printer (and latte!)

A traditional Fab Lab frequently has the air of an engineering shop; the Fab Cafe seems to have a more artistically creative feel. I imagine that a Fab Cafe and a Fab Lab could co-exist quite happily in the same town, with artists becoming more interested in making their art interactive … or just active.

Here are just a few of the things people have made there:

You can see their gallery by clicking on any of the above pictures, or by clicking this link.  To really get blown away by all the (very creative) stuff that they have done, click the big picture below, and then go exploring!

What Did You Fab Today

Here’s what they say about themselves (it’s easier to read here!)

What is FabCafe?

“FAB” is the “craftsmanship revolution” movement spreading throughout the world. The letters “FAB” contain the meaning of both “FABrication (craftsmanship)”, unconfined by mass production and market theory, and “FABulous (pleasant, wonderful)” within them, and this network has already expanded to over 50 countries in over 250 places throughout the world (as of April, 2013).  FabCafe was created in Tokyo’s hot city, Shibuya, as a place to expand the “FAB” spirit in a fun, delicious, easy to understand, and open way. In this café, where people gather, meet, and connect, there are 3D printers and other craftsmanship devices representative of the times. There is the meeting of talent and creative collaboration that is only born from open places. We believe that the artists born from these places, artists that exceed imagination, will change the craftsmanship of the next generation. This uniqueness has begun attracting supporters from across oceans, and the second and third FabCafe’s are planned for Taiwan, in May, 2013, and Europe respectively. FabCafe is different from FabLab activities.

FabCafe, started in 2002, is a new model of activity that was born through inspiration from FabLab’s worldwide activities. Although they both share the large vision to create the future of craftsmanship, FabCafe’s organizational structure, its main bodies, business model, and profit structure are all independent. The father of the FAB movement, Professor Neil Gershenfeld of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and his ideas are both things that we continue to respect. However, FabCafe’s activities, while coordinating effectively with FabLab, aim to create a vision of the future in a way different from FabLab’s. As it maintains its entry roles, including the ideas of “everyday creator visits” and “anyone can casually participate”, FabCafe accomplishes its aims by creating a new marketplace based on products born actively within it. This marketplace develops new talent, and accelerates the flow of new craftsmanship. Fab café carries out activities as a device to create this cycle.

What is FabCafe.com?

Our site, FabCafe.com, functions as a hub for information unfolding to the world from FabCafe base areas, as well as a shared marketplace which brings together real and data products. The data and products of creators from various countries are uploaded onto this site and shared with people across the world. In addition, the creators of the world can connect here, and give birth to new collaboration products. We provide a place for a new kind of craftsmanship that cannot be born from the existing production industry, connecting people and creativity.

The first Fab Cafe is in Tokyo: will there be one near you any time soon?