Fab Charter

The Science Dissemination Unit (SDU) of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy has established on August 12, 2014  a Scientific FabLab (“fabrication laboratory”) infrastructure devoted to creativity and research with special focus on possible applications of benefit for the society. Free membership for the use of this SciFabLab is subject to acceptance of a guest project and stands for the period of the project itself.

What is a FabLab? 

FabLabs are a global network of local labs, enabling invention by providing access to tools for rapid digital fabrication. In particular, the ICTP Scientific FabLab is a workshop area for Makers within ICTP campus and it offers the possibility of digital fabrication and rapid prototyping for projects in the fields of science, education and sustainable development.

What’s in a FabLab? 

FabLabs share an evolving inventory of core capabilities to make (almost) anything, allowing people and projects to be shared. The ICTP Scientific FabLab is equipped with an ensemble of flexible manufacturing equipment including: a laser cutter, a variety of low-cost 3D printers and scanners, a CNC machine, open technologies including micro-controllers and sensors, mini computers, etc. In the near future it is planned to add PCB creation facilities and tools for design and assembly of digital electronics.

What does the FabLab network provide? 

Operational, educational, technical, financial, and logistical assistance beyond what’s available within one lab.

Who can use a FabLab? 

FabLabs are available as a community resource, offering open access for individuals as well as scheduled access for programs. The ICTP Scientific FabLab is open to all ICTP scientists with the possibility to welcome in also external research projects and educational initiatives that are of benefit for the whole society:

  • ICTP scientists, i.e., staff scientists, post-docs, associates, students, etc, can freely make use of the Scientific FabLab facilities upon request to SDU.
  • External membership to the ICTP Scientific FabLab is subject to approval by the SDU Team. This is based on the presentation (by one or more individuals, groups, etc) of guest projects and/or educational initiatives that are of benefit for the whole society. There are not membership fees.

What are host’s responsibilities? 

 safety: not hurting people or machines
operations: assisting with cleaning, maintaining, and improving the lab
knowledge: contributing to documentation and instruction.

Who owns FabLab inventions? 

Designs and processes developed in FabLabs can be protected and sold however an inventor chooses, but should remain available for individuals to use and learn from. Accepted members of the ICTP Scientific FabLab agree:

  • to share their expertise with other members of the ICTP Scientific FabLab;
  • to publish openly their results in the literature, on-line or exhibit in Maker events. The authors of any prototype, model or code will retain their full ownership, however it is highly recommended to release prototypes, models, and codes developed within the ICTP Scientific FabLab as open source / open hardware.

How can businesses use a FabLab? 

Commercial activities can be prototyped and incubated in a FabLab, but they must not conflict with other uses, they should grow beyond rather than within the lab, and they are expected to benefit the inventors, labs, and networks that contribute to their success. Since by “making” one can learn most effectively –i.e., by the physical implementation at all scales, the ICTP Scientific FabLab place will play a significant role as a hub (or aggregator) to support the creative work of scientists and targeted scholar audiences. The goal is also to create successful communities around the ICTP in the Alpe-Adria Region to empower local scholars, scientists, individuals, societies and help them to design, discuss and create for themselves, low-cost and useful powerful devices of special scientific interest for developing countries. All together we can open new dimensions to science and education, inspire curiosity and offer powerful new ways to facilitate the creation and modeling of new ideas with a significant impact.

Organizational chart

Role Who Duties
Coordinators SDU staff to manage and select activities and memberships
Managers selected volunteers to supervise hosts and activities during opening hours
Hosts authorized adult makers responsible for safety, operation and knowledge
Visitors e.g. schools, local community, etc. participation to training activities; visitors are not allowed to use FabLab facilities for their own purposes


Versione italiana: Manifesto dei FabLab

(traduzione a cura della Fondazione MakeInItaly)

Che cosa é un FabLab?

I FabLab sono una rete globale di laboratori, che facilitano lo sviluppo di invenzioni dando accesso a strumenti di fabbricazione digitale.

Che cosa c’é in un FabLab?

I FabLab condividono un inventario in continua evoluzione di capacitá base per fare (qualsiasi) cosa, permettendo la condivisione alle persone e ai progetti.

Che cosa fornisce la rete dei FabLab?

Assistenza operativa, educativa, tecnica, finanziaria e logistica oltre a tutto ció che é disponibile in un laboratorio.

Chi puó usare un fab lab?

I fab lab sono disponibili come risorse di comunitá, che offrono un accesso aperto ai singoli individui e un accesso programmato a specifiche iniziative.

Quali sono le tue responsabilitá?

sicurezza: non fare del male alle altre persone e non danneggiare le macchine;
operazioni: aiuta nella pulizia, mantenimento e sviluppo del laboratorio;
conoscenza: contribuisci alla documentazione e alle istruzioni.

A chi appartengono le invenzioni sviluppate nei fab lab?

I progetti e i processi sviluppati nei fab lab possono essere protetti e venduti come l’inventore preferisce, ma dovrebbero rimanere disponibili per l’utilizzo e l’apprendimento delle altre persone.

Come possono i business usufruire dei fab lab?

Le attivitá commerciali possono essere prototipate e incubate in un fab lab, ma non devono entrare in conflitto con gli altri utilizzi e attivitá, dovrebbero crescere oltre al fab lab piuttosto che dentro al laboratorio, e ci si aspetta da loro che gli inventori, i laboratori e le reti che contribuiscono al loro successo ne traggano un beneficio.