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Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association

Dream it, Design it, Mak it

Designers, entrepreneurs and SMEs in Scotland now have access to resources aimed at speeding up prototyping, an important step in the product design process.
The MAKLab studio, based in the Lighthouse in Glasgow, has assembled an array of equipment and a network of advisors to minimise the cost of producing prototypes and exploring design ideas.   It operates as an open workshop so that individuals can drop in, preferably by appointment, discuss their proposals with the MAKLab team and use the facilities to produce models and prototypes.

MAKLab is the first ‘fablab’ (fabrication laboratory) in Scotland, the latest in a network of fablabs throughout the world, stemming from a concept at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and accelerated by the explosion of digital technology in manufacture.  The name selected for the Glasgow fablab, draws on the vernacular and the strap line of ‘Dream it, Design it, Mak it’Bruce Newlands, the founding Director has good experience as an architect in delivering innovative projects and his research interests are in creative digital fabrication.  He has assembled a team of 11 experienced mentors.

A selection of 3D printers available at MAKLab
Among the equipment at MAKLab, users can access:
 3D printers
 vacuum formers
 laser cutting machines
 CNC milling and routing machines
 digital scanners
 electronics equipment and components.

MAKLab membership (£144 pa for an individual; £432 pa for an SME; £72 pa for a student) provides discount rates for machine usage, materials at trade prices, one-to-one training on equipment, advice from the experienced team and access to a network of manufacturers and suppliers.

MAKLab recently reached the UK final of the Global Impact Challenge.  Although they missed out in the overall award, they picked up a prize of £100,000 which will help in their plans to expand MAKLab to similar facilities in Edinburgh and Aberdeen and provide more prototype manufacturing opportunities at low cost, while developing additional processes to work with steel, stone, textiles and other materials.

Report by Charlie Geddes, SPRA Hon Secretary, June 2013

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  • Materials Thermoplastics, Thermosets, Elastomers, Additives.
  • Processes Moulding, Extrusion, Thermoforming, Ancillaries.
  • Design Product, Mould, CAE, Testing.
  • Applications Healthcare, Packaging, Electronics, Other Markets.
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