What’s a FabLab?

A FabLab (short for fabrication laboratory) is a small-scale workshop allowing for individual fabrication via equipment such as a 3D printer, CAD software, and industrial cutting machines.

Generally, a FabLab can facilitate production of different length scales and various materials, which makes them able to “make almost anything”. This can include small, useful, and customized objects which mass-production is not well-suited for.

FabLabs empower individuals to create. Whether you have a project, a vision and a purpose, or just curiosity about what is possible, the FabLab has something for you.

Every FabLab is unique, and they often change and adapt to community direction. At this time, the Library’s FabLab includes:

  • A Glowforge laser cutting machine

  • A Prusa MK3S+ 3D Printer

  • A Matter & Form 3D scanner

  • A dedicated design-computer, stocked with design software including Adobe Creative Suite, and Autodesk AutoCAD.

What can I do with a FabLab?

Whether you are a retiree, a homebuilder, a tradeworker, an artist, a prankster, a home-learning leader, a student, or anything else – there is something you could make to help or inspire in our FabLab.

  • Got a broken bit you want to reproduce? Scan it and 3D Print it.
  • Have a plan for something close to what you need… but you know it’s not quite right? Use our software to help you edit the plan.
  • Have an object that isn’t working right/fitting its purpose, but would if you could fix this one little thing about it? Scan it, edit it in our software, 3D print it. Now better than new, customized to you!
  • Need a good photo editing software for a creative or professional project? Book time in the Lab to learn independently – and use LinkedIn Learning to help guide you as needed too!
  • Want to introduce STEAM-skills magic to young ones? Try out the Glow Forge for a quick intro with big (and nearly instant) pay-off.
  • Want to engrave, or cut, material such as glass, leather, rock or thin plywood to make signs, art, or craft project projects? Check out our Glow Forge.
  • Want to change a little gnome figurine into something that eerily resembles a family member, just for fun… it’s possible! Your imagination is your only limit, and we have Libraries of digital inspiration if you’re ever drawing a blank.

Whether your interest is play, work, fun, function, creativity or exploration – the FabLab can help you take you from idea to real. What will you make?

Can I use the FabLab independently?

You can use the Design Computer unsupervised. However, the Glowforge and the 3D Printer can only be used independently after you have received sufficient training.

Booking independent time after completing certification will be an available option in the future, but is not currently available.

Is there a charge for using the space?

At this time, as we are launching the space, there is currently no charge. However, if projects are large (more than 25 grams), we reserve the right to charge for materials at their purchase plus shipping cost.

How do I book time to learn about the FabLab?

Book a time by clicking on the button below, or contact fablabs@saltspringlibrary.com. You and also drop by for a quick tour on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 10AM and 2PM.

Salt Spring Island Public Library gratefully acknowledges Fab Lab contributions made by both the Salt Spring Island Foundation, and the New Horizons for Seniors Program through the Government of Canada. Equipment purchases and materials purchases have been funded by the Salt Spring Island Foundation, while staffing for the public launch and community integration of the space has been funded through the New Horizons for Seniors Program.