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Week 0 - Bootcamp

This week we get to know each other locally, meet with the regional Fablabs and have two hour sessions with the entire World. These 'Around the World' sessions are lead by Neil Gerschenfeld.

Monday 18-1

We meet at the fablab for instructions and local introductions.


Henk introduces the FabAcademy and the Waag. Due to Covid restrictions we decide together on wearing mouth masks while moving. We can take them off when we are at our desks.

About how we fab

During Fabacademy you have mentors, not teachers. You have to do the learning yourself. I can help you.

Whatever you starting point is, you need to show you’ve improved. I will help you to get most out of the academy as possible.

It will be an interesting challenge this year with corona. We’ve got some experience from last year. We will try to continue and improvise as we go. Stopping is no scenario for now.

the bootcamp is new. We aim that it helps to provide you with a soft landing. All software need to be installed by the end of the week.

We meet with other labs as well today. Together with the other labs we form a regional Fablab. Agrilab in France and two others. In total we have 20 students in these labs. We review every week what everyone has done, what they’ve done. We do this before the global review with Neil.

This year we have 200-250 students. And he reviews only 5 students. So small change you get to present. That is why we do local reviews. It is also more to see other students struggling

Ideally we all help each other. That is the ideal of the FA.


Documentation is the most important part of the FA. You'll get reviewed based on the docs. That is the official thing about documentation.

The unofficial thing is that is important to write stuff down. YOu’ll learn from that. When you work with a machine, there are so many things to think about. From powering it on until you are done there are many many steps involved. I will explain these once, so you have to write them down.

On Thursdays, the seconds halve of the day, you will normally have a group assignment. You’ll have to think about the boundaries. And learn about them.

You'll have to design. And then to make it. If you can’t, there is something wrong with your documentation. You can ask me, but I will check your docs if you didn’t forget anything. These are also the moments you learn; when you make mistakes. Without mistakes you won’t learn. Write down your mistakes.

Personal notes.

I'll try to use my boox for notes and see how that goes. If possible I want to avoid paper. (but i have a paper blue notebook as backup)

This week:

  • Everyday start at 12:00. We can do whatever we want
  • At 15:00 we have the global lecture.
  • This stops at 17:00. We discuss it the next morning.

Next week

You need to start thinking about your assignments. - At 15:00 on wednesday Neil introduces you to the new assignments. It is going to be a lot. That is not the right moment to panic. - The next morning Henk introduces you to the machines you need and helps to make sure you have an idea what you have to do to make that assignment. - In the beginning it is easy, but it will quickly become more - You've got to learn new machines, software and how to use them. -

Due to pressure you also learn how to stop exploring a dead end route. You ned to be quick in deciding when you push ahead and when you give up.

We have 7 students present. 1 virtual student and we have Michelle as assistant.

Local intros

Nadieh Bremer. Background: Astronomer. Data-visualization designer. Visuals in newspapers and such. Data-scientist. Javascript and CSS. Objective: get into the physical part of designing Link:

Lucia Jonkhoff Background: Teacher at HvA. Communication and multimedia design. Study industrial design in Delft. But I Objective: We have makerslab in the HvA and I want to inspire them to use all the techniques. I need to be better at this myself. Link:

Fillip. Background: AV and multimedia background. Worked on focus and tv, design print and webdesign as well. Special effects. Objective: I want to learn more how to make physical effects. Electronics and prototyping. Link:

Paula Background: IT infrastructure in England. I am interested in FABLabs for a long time already. Objective: learn how to prototype. There are so many ideas in my head. I need to get them out.

Nicole Background: MIT and did the how to make course there , but had to move back due to an accident. I want to continue to work on what I did. Consultant for circular economy for waste construction in the tech field. Objective: Too much paperwork; I want to go back to designing and making things. Link:

Loes Background: Selfemployed for the last 20 years. Lightdesigner. Objective: Stuff that is available is boring. I want to make stuff myself because there is not enough available for what I want and need.

Erwin (egeltje) Background: works at Liander control room. 3D printing is my hobby and am hacker at Hack42. Objective: I look forward to the interaction especially and the exchange of ideas.

Regional intros

Ferdi; one of three local instruction in Germany. We have three continuing students. And two new students.

daniele fab instructor since three years. I make machines. You can find a lot of information of me online.

gerhard I am teacher at UNESCO teacher art and tech. Pupils are 11 to 17. Interior design; furniture and product design. The fabacademy si full of topics, I train on them to learn how to teach my students better.

Jefferson want to be introduced to the fabrication world.

Luc from agrilab. we’ve three students. Elina. I am studying agriculture engineering. I want to know more about electronics and informatics.

Georg? I am in the agrilab to learn more about electronics.

Antonio I'll travel to France soon. I am interested in joining from the agriculture part. I work in Mexico developing software for production management.

First Around the World

It is 9am. Recording has started.

Neil: Welcome to bootcamp. We meet with all the labs around the world. Last year everything changed. We had to teach differently due to corona. But we adapted to that. We are well equipped to do that. This cycle we can learn from that. There is uncertainty but we can be flexible and we can handle that.

Neil gives project tips:

  • Presentation is 1m. It should show the product working.
  • Fablabs develop best in accordance with their users. Don’t buy all the stuff you think you need, but on a need basis.

Tuesday 19-1

Instruction on soldering was really good.

Duaa about soldering (starts at min. 48)

Wednesday 20-1

Bad news; the covid-19 situation is worsening. Tomorrow will probably our last time in class together and we'll have to follow class from home until at least February 9...

We spend time getting all our accounts online. - -> identification server - -> documentation and code server - -> mattermost server

Around the World inspiration

  • a 3D printer that prints food (mashed potato!)
  • a wildcam
  • thermochromatic inks used to display data without a screen -> made by Harm about the box and how to design it

Thursday 21-1

We continued with getting MKdocs running. I am running into theming issues

Around the world inspiration

Project presentations

  • nice little lamp with changing lamps
  • videos should be full HD (1080p)
  • nice constructed big bannerbot
  • There was a spider

  • the video was introducing HTML and git. I have to look back the GIT part.

Friday 22-1

We continued with getting MKdocs running. I solved my theming issues.

Around the world inspirations

Project presentations

  • BOR Glove; Glove controller for Art output devices
  • A light iris that reacts on air pollution...? Fun idea: Make your own material.
  • Plant hydrated alarm