Another FabLab for Cebu City?

WITH more people using the services of the fabrication laboratory (FabLab) in the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 is mulling opening another one in Cebu City.

DTI 7 Assistant Director Maria Elena Arbon said they are looking into putting up another FabLab at the Cebu Techonological University (CTU) main campus.

“There are many clients that go to the FabLab UP, from students to those already in the industry. It is already full because the demand from the community is really strong, so we’re looking into expanding into CTU main,” she said.

To strengthen the learning approach of FabLabs in Central Visayas, the DTI 7 is crafting a standard project management framework.

Arbon said they want to upgrade the results of the FabLabs by introducing processes that can guide micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to develop a culture of innovation.

“The FabLab is more than just a mere printing laboratory. We have eight FabLabs now in the region, and I’m trying to come up with a standard project management framework to guide FabLabs and flatten their learning curve,” she said.

“We will have an orientation on what it is all about. It’s not just the equipment, but building a bigger community that promotes digital fabrication skills so we want people to go to the FabLab. There, they can engage with the community,” she said.

Arbon said they saw the need for a standardized program for the existing FabLabs in Cebu City, Tuburan, Danao, Argao, Bogo City, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor.

The first FabLab in the country was launched in Bohol five years ago. There are around 40 nationwide.

“We are sharing learnings and experiences among our existing and newbie labs,” she said.

A FabLab is equipped with 3D printers, laser cutter, printer and cutter, desktop vinyl cutter, CNC router (shopbot), small CNC bench-box, and milling machines aimed to help MSMEs in packaging and other digital innovations. (JOB)