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Fab Lab San Francisco

About Us


Fab Lab San Francisco is a specialized digital fabrication laboratory, design studio, maker / hacker spaceĀ and education center based in San Francisco, California. We can make almost anything using digital fabrication methods at our lab. Fab Lab is short for “Fabrication Laboratory” and provides widespread access to modern means for invention through design and rapid prototyping. The term “Fab Lab” began as an outreach project from MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA). CBA assembled millions of dollars in machines for research in digital fabrication, ultimately aiming at developing programmable molecular assemblers that will be able to make almost anything. Fab labs fall between these extremes, comprising roughly fifty thousand dollars in equipment and materials that can be used today to do what will be possible with tomorrow’s personal fabricators.

Fab labs have spread from inner-city Boston to rural India, from South Africa to the North of Norway. Activities in fab labs range from technological empowerment to peer-to-peer project-based technical training to local problem-solving to small-scale high-tech business incubation to grass-roots research. Projects being developed and produced in fab labs include solar and wind-powered turbines, thin-client computers and wireless data networks, analytical instrumentation for agriculture and healthcare, custom housing, and rapid-prototyping of rapid-prototyping machines.

Who We are

Fab Lab San Francisco is run by two architects with a great passion for computational, environmental, sustainable and experimental design. We have several part time experts in various fields who can assist on almost any project on any matter. One of our main goals is to promote inexpensive and local fabrication, where there is a clear community benefit involved. Rather than the mass production of goods overseas, we are involved with mass customization, where every product is made and customized by us at our lab and importing goods from a select region close to our lab. Because everyone has a different need, we believe that the best fabrication practices accommodate this very need and incorporate it into a well designed dynamic product.

What we offer

Fab labs across the World share core capabilities, so that people and projects can be shared across them. This currently includes:

  • A computer-controlled laser cutter, for press-fit assembly of 3D structures from 2D parts
  • A larger (4′x8′) numerically-controlled milling machine, for making furniture- (and house-) sized parts
  • A signcutter, to produce printing masks, flexible circuits, and antennas
  • A precision (micron resolution) milling machine to make three-dimensional molds and surface-mount circuit boards
  • Programming tools for low-cost high-speed embedded processors

These work with components and materials optimized for use in the field, and are controlled with custom software for integrated design, manufacturing, and project management. This inventory is continuously evolving, towards the goal of a fab lab being able to make a fab lab.