Fab Lab Fashion 2017

Fab Lab 2017

A Fab Lab (or Fabrications Laboratory), is a concept originally dreamt up by Neil Gershenfeld at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT). A Fab Lab is a facility (building) that houses the basic machinery required to make (in Gershenfeld’s words) “just about anything”. It is Gershenfeld’s belief that personal fabrication is on the rise, and soon enough, the world technologically enabled (anyone with a computer) will be able to download and print their own personal 3-dimensional objects. These may include the latest i-phone, running shoes, and at some stage, even a car.

Personal fabrication therefore encompasses the design, prototyping and three-dimensional printing of one’s ideas.

The South African government has realised the potential of this, and as a result, has installed Fab Labs all around the country. The closest lab is situated in Thokosa, a township situated south of Johannesburg. Local Fab Labs are expected to facilitate local and innovative technology development in an open source fashion. This means that a person who designs and fabricates their idea is required to leave behind a set of instructions that teaches other people how to re-make or generate an iteration of the artefact in return for using the facilities, knowledge and material that are provided for free by the Labs.

Students resolve the design of a prototypable artefact (Fab Lab community), to inspire innovation (attract users to the Lab) and to showcase the potential of the laboratory machinery. This empowers the communities that have access to Fab Labs by allowing potential Lab users to recreate these artifacts, which in the process of making, allows them to evolve the item or create spin offs, as well as understand what the potential of the Fab Lab facilities are.


A lot of the potentially lab users are young women. And a lot of the product on display looks pretty basic. Show Lab users how intricate, beautiful, detailed, multilayered, multi-materialled, delicate, and complex Fab Lab projects can be!

Our objective is to showcase the versatility of the machines in the Fablab through the use of a fashionable item. Allowing them to use the skills that they will learn from creating it to design and create other projects.


• To design a bag that could have many functions
• Creating a design of a bag that, by different iterations would enable the maker to personalize their creation easily.

We produced 12 designs using the same template using 2 profiles with a wrap-around which was made possible with a living hinge.

• The portfolio bag is for carrying A4 size paper and books
• Keeps your work clean in a working environment as well as help you carry it to the Fablab and back.
• Using an interlocking system that is drawn from the size of the living hinge.

• The scroll case is long enough to hold A3 paper.
• Using an interlocking system that is drawn from the size of the living hinge.
Our instructable also gives guidance on how any individual could change different aspects of the bag to suit their own style.