The space is tight, but there's a second room and it's got lots of good stuff packed in
Xinfab was one of the first fab labs in China, a ‘fabrication laboratory’ is basically a space that provides equipment that would otherwise prove difficult for the average DIY enthusiast to access. Tools like 3D printers, laser cutters, sewing machines, and power saws. Xinfab was founded in Shanghai in 2014 by a former CEO with a passion for creating, Lucio Pentagna Guimarães, and is now run by a small group of dedicated volunteers. The current space manager, Jade Young, said this of the organization’s intention:
“We want to raise awareness about how machines and technology can enable anyone to give life to their ideas. We want to encourage people to create and innovate, instead of just buying stuff.”
Wood etched with designs through the laser cutter
Earrings that were made using the laser cutter
Jade also said she and her team would love to provide everything for free, but they’re a non-profit and bills are a thing so to keep the lights on…
The new location is open for members to start working now. A basic membership costs 180rmb per month. That gets you access to the space and use of all tools, but also serves as credits toward the bigger machines in the space. Most machines are charged by the hour (the laser cutter, for example, is 35rmb an hour). The 3D printers are per gram; 2rmb for DIY, and if you need assistance, 4rmb. For those who plan to use the machines a lot there’s also a ‘Very Inventive Person’ membership (get it?) with unlimited use of all machines and tools for 600rmb a month.
There’s no one time fee, Xinfab’s going for more of a community vibe—they want people to feel like they're a part of the space. But if you are not a member and want to check it out there's open night every Tuesday from 6-8pm (will start up again in 2 weeks).
A model of someone's actual face, made using a 3D printer
In addition to providing space, tools and machines, Xinfab also organizes workshops. In their old location, Xinfab hosted classes on 3D printing, a ‘how to’ on laser cutting your own earrings, and more. In their new location, they are planning to continue their usual 3D printing and laser cutting intro workshops, and will add new DIY sessions, like make how to make your own ukulele (!!). There will also be a drone workshop, a DIY portable 3D printer, and an intensive Adobe Illustrator workshop in September. Workshops are run by volunteers (usually on the weekends) and cost about 150-200rmb.
Xinfab is at No. 5, Lane 45 Kangding Dong Lu.