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Fab Lab finds a home in Swansea


They can be located in cities all over the world and, from Friday, Fab Lab can be found in Swansea, too.

Short for digital fabrication laboratory, the new facility is set to provide a cutting-edge space for the region’s creatives.

The Hunter-first resource joins a network of more than 1,700 similar venues found in more than 100 countries across the globe.

Opening Friday evening, coinciding with the start of Lake Mac STEAM Week, Fab Lab will offer access to people of all ages to help create, invent, learn and innovate.

The space includes 3D scanners and printers, a laser cutter, computer-controlled cutting and engraving machines, a green screen room, vlogging equipment, virtual reality headsets and high-powered computers for game design, graphic design and rendering.

“This is the latest example of how we’re embracing innovation here in Lake Mac,” Lake Macquarie City mayor Kay Fraser said.

“It’s the first Fab Lab for regional NSW, and will provide access to the skills, materials and advanced technology to allow anyone to make almost anything they can dream up.”

The facility, at the Swansea Centre building, will include a variety of equipment for digital fabrication prototyping, as well as a program of activities for learning, sharing ideas and collaborating on global Fab Lab challenges.

Lake Macquarie City Council smart cities lead Claire Chaikin-Bryan said the new Fab Lab would provide a hub for local innovators to come together, filling a gap in the region’s ‘makerspace’ market.

“This is an opportunity for us to build a network of local innovators, and to really nurture that concept of collaboration and knowledge-sharing,” she said.

The Fab Lab was jointly funded by Council and the NSW State Library.

Access to the Fab Lab will be via public workshops, open days or the ‘Lake Make Club’ membership program – a program offering options for hobbyists, commercial users, students and families.

Casual access options will also be available for people needing one-off access.

Lake Macquarie City Council smart cities lead Claire Chaikin-Bryan.

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