A new facility aimed at helping entrepreneurs turn their ideas into new products and prototypes by giving them access to a range of advanced digital manufacturing technologies was officially unveiled at Ballycanew last week.
Launched by Ballycanew Ballyoughter Community Development Association, the Ballycanew Resource Center FabLab is equipped with 3D printers and offers local residents the opportunity to learn new skills and encourage social enterprise. The lab also has a laser engraver and two circuit machines that allow people to create shadow boxes to make their own invitations or birthday cards. A CO2 laser cutter will also be available in the coming weeks.
Funding for the FabLab was obtained following the successful application of the Development Association to the ESB Generations Fund. The project was also funded by Wexford County Council, LCDC and the Community Living Fund.
“Fab Labs can support policy initiatives in the areas of education, enterprise, training and community social enterprise development. This initiative will benefit children and adults and promote stem and social enterprises for the region,” said a representative from Ballycanew Ballyoughter Community Development Association. “As we have been living with Covid-19 for the past two years, we have identified the need in communities to have social outlets available to our community. This helps the mental health of our citizens and provides an outlet to the community is always in a safe environment while capitalizing on the facilities available.
The idea of the FabLab was conceived by the famous inventor and scientist, Professor Neil Gershenfeld of the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His idea was simple: to provide the environment, the skills, the materials and the cutting-edge technology to manufacture things cheaply and quickly anywhere in the world, and to make them available locally to entrepreneurs, students, artists, small businesses and in done , anyone who wants to create something new or bespoke.
The list of services now available at Ballcanew FabLab includes: laser engraving (engraving Perspex for a light stand); 3d printer (resin based) allowing you to make your own chess set or one of our super dragons; laser cutting (finely detailed wooden cutouts); 3D printing (based on filaments) to create our classic foxes or snakes; circuit (create your own shadow box or make your own birthday card or invitations); a drone and Adobe products.
Other services will be added over the next few months, including a 3D scanner.
Use of the Services can be booked by telephone by calling 0872127614 or through the Ballycanew Ballyoughter Community Development Association Facebook page. All bookings are €15 per hour.