Setting up a FabLab at the College of Engineering, Pune, India

August 2nd, 2009

Tags: , , , , ,

I’m in India for all of August to help set up some FabLabs and work with the people who will be running them.


I had never been to India before, besides the delicious food and the beautiful colourful clothing, I was surprised by how the stores work: they are small and specialised. I passed a store on one of my first days in Pune called “All kinds of rubber gaskets”. There are VCR and TV repair stores. There was a store where a man was sitting outside with a hammer and a pile of old oil containers, hammering them into lunch boxes.

setting up the shopbot next to 30 lathes

The fablab itself is going to be set up at the College of Engineering Pune, in the precision engineering department. In the precision engineering department, there are already 30 lathes, many drill presses, bandsaws, hacksaws, hand tools, et cetera, et cetera. It feels kind of silly to bring in two 3-axis mills if they already have so many tools and call it a revolution in fabrication. Even though the mills we’re bringing are computer controlled, there is so much available manpower here that CNC does not win a whole lot. There has been no divorce from manufacturing, making and fabrication and the general public. Unlike at home, DIY and electronics aren’t a techno-fetish for the educated, they’re an aspect of daily life. Yet COE Pune is super excited about their fablab.

we bought bicycles

Oh yeah. And we bought bicycles which are like a separated species from the Dutch opoe fiets. They were 2500 rupees each. Needless to say, I was thrilled. is by nadya peek. she'd love to hear from you.