In 2001, the Fab Labs journey began. It was the year that the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) launched the first digital laboratory (FABrication LABoratory). The objective was to design a rapid prototyping space that would make electronic and computer equipment available to everyone. The Fablab Etoile Center at Telecom SudParis, opened in September 2017, is part of this ongoing collaborative movement. "It's an open place, a place that is a driving force in terms of innovation, collaborative work and transmission.” explains Olivier Martinot, Director of Innovation at Télécom SudParis.
A project design space
This space has facilitated the creation of numerous projects by students, researchers and startups. This is the case for Spectral, a startup supported by the campus incubator, IMT Starter. It offers software in augmented reality for industrial technicians. "Thanks to Fablab, we were able to 3D print an adapter to use between a HoloLens helmet (editor's note: Virtual Reality Helmet) and a camera so we can film in augmented reality", explains Maxence Boucas, its co-founder.
In addition to these possibilities, the Telecom SudParis robotics student association organizes placements in the digital laboratory. Its members use the tools on site to build several parts of their robots which they then enter into the French Robotics Cups – they finished 5th in the 2018 cup.
When students become the teacher
Students can also act as teachers during this workshop program which includes “Discovery of the Arduino” amongst others, these are circuit boards with a simple structure available under a free license. Finally the Fablab hosts digital art courses in partnership with the ENSIIE.
An ever-expanding location, in collaboration with several Fab labs (Placi Lab from Planète Science, C-19 from ENSIIE, etc.) the Fab Lab Etoile Center assists engineering students and everyone on campus in the fulfilment of their projects