Formlabs announced an interesting new program for shared making facilities: Formlabs Community Spaces.
Formlabs has made arrangements with several leading fabrication and design labs to provide a tighter link with the company. The goal of the program is to:
“Collaborate with Technology Community Spaces to facilitate in-person access to digital workflows; to grow our shared communities.”
While many such facilities currently operate Formlabs equipment, there’s always room for more knowledge and best practices, which seems to be a key part of the new program.
Provided to the labs will be a focus on education and excitement. They explain:
“Like our Ambassador Program, we work with existing customers and do not provide machines. Through formalizing our relationship we provide consistent education to their community (like workshop assets), first-access to products (like new materials) and swag that can help educate and excite their community.”
I asked what exactly would be provided to participants, and Formlabs explained to us a series of services will be made available:
Formlabs Insights + Swag: Formlabs product educational assets, 3D models, and Formlabs swag for their membership and the visiting Formlabs community.
Exclusive access to new materials by hosting launch events and displaying them in your spaces
Exposure to the Formlabs community through social and content highlights of member user stories and events.
Recognition on our website and our upcoming Formlabs Community Map currently our events page
There is no financial or equipment arrangements between the parties; in fact, participants must already be existing Formlabs clients, equipped with the latest gear (including the Form 3, Wash and Cure accessories).
At launch the program will include:
Autodesk Technology Center in Boston
Autodesk Technology Center in San Francisco
Autodesk Technology Center in Toronto
Gnomon School of Design in Hollywood
New Lab in New York
Formlabs told us they do intend to expand the program globally to qualifying organizations. They explain why these sites were selected:
“We are launching with a curated group of best-in-class spaces that we’ve collaborated with in events, workshops and roadshows. They represent some of Formlabs core community regions and industry hubs. In coming months we will be opening up the program for spaces to apply.”
This sounds like a very appropriate program for any technology center operating Formlabs equipment, particularly those with an experimental bent, as the access to newly release materials could be of great interest. It would also allow site members to increase their ability to operate Formlabs equipment in the most optimal manner.
It’s also possible Formlabs will receive a considerable amount of promotion from this move, as the sites selected have much traffic and notability in their regions. Many more people will see Formlabs equipment operating at its best.