Fab Lab Furniture 2015

Fab Lab 2015

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.

Students resolve the design of  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.


The objective of this project is to create a piece of furniture that can be utilised within the typical homes found in area’s surrounding the FabLab.

It needs to be created in the FabLab situated in Tokosa or Tembisa, using only materials and equipment that can be found within the lab. This would allow the people in the community to create this design for free.

The piece would need to be practical, functional and aesthetically pleasing with a preference in it being multi-functional.


Each of us came up with 3 designs that would work within the scope of our brief.

The design was then narrowed down into two separate items, a chair/table combo, and a suitcase that could serve as a schoolbag for children. The chair/table combo would be created in a modular system with a rotating mechanism to allow for the change between chair and table.

Research was done into the ergonomics of this type of furniture and the design was refined.
The team went to the Tembisa FabLab with our dxf. files to cut our prototype using the laser cutter, 3mm hardboard and 3mm Perspex.


Carl Lewis, Natalie Celliers, Cindy Perkins, Robert McMurray, Lisa Mmolawa