FabriCamp Lx1: The Report

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[PT] O FabriCamp Lx1 foi excelente. Muito obrigado a todos os participantes, oradores e operadores de máquinas, pelo dia tão divertido que nos proporcionaram. Obrigado também ao Pavilhão do Conhecimento e a Ciência Viva, por tão caloroso e prestável acolhimento – mais do que isto não podíamos pedir.

[EN] FabriCamp Lx1 was great. Many thanks to all the participants, speakers and machine operators for making it such a fun day. Thank you also to Pavilhão do Conhecimento and Ciência Viva for being the most welcoming and helpful hosts we could wish for.

[PT] Participaram no FabriCamp cerca de 130 pessoas, e durante todo o dia, sem uma falhazinha que fosse, as máquinas de fabricação digital imprimiram em 3D e fresaram. E a verdade é que alguns membros do altLab conseguiram fazer progressos numa mini-Mendel modificada e reparar logo ali a MakerBot da Faculdade de Arquitectura.

[EN] Around 130 people participated and the digital fabrication machines 3D printed, frostruded and milled all day without a glitch. In fact, some altLab members even managed to make some progress on a modified mini Mendel and to fix the College of Architecture’s MakerBot on the spot.


[PT] As palestras foram dos momentos altos do evento.

Os membros da direcção da AZ Labs Network – Ricardo Lobo, Pedro Ângelo, Tiago Serra, Catarina Mota e eu próprio –, falaram da organização, dos três laboratórios, da FabriCulture e de novos projectos empolgantes, como as Residências AZ e a nossa participação na Guimarães – Capital Europeia da Cultura 2012.

Filipe Martins tem um mestrado em Design de Produtos em Biopolímeros e tem vindo a explorar a sustentabilidade em processos, tecnologias e materiais. Deu uma palestra intitulada “Design para Autonomia Material”, onde tratou de processos para criarmos os nossos próprios materiais de fabricação, e de formas para depois os tratarmos, no fim do ciclo de vida dos produtos.

Tiago Rorke é formado em Design Industrial e, com Greg Saul, criou o Diatom Studio (dedicado a explorar as possibilidade da fabricação digital, para dar aos utilizadores finais um papel no processo de design). Falou sobre a SketchChair, um sistema em desenvolvimento para criar uma ferramenta de software livre, open source, com que qualquer pessoa poderá facilmente desenhar e construir mobiliário de fabricação digital.

Vasco Portugal, que no âmbito da sua tese de doutoramento no programa MIT|Portugal tem explorado formas de alcançar um desenvolvimento sustentável, falou sobre as origens e a evolução dos FabLabs, e também do projecto que tem em curso – um “sistema gerador-de-formas-arquitectónicas para engenharia de areia através de cimentação induzida por via microbiológica”.

Mais informações sobre as palestras, aqui. E muitas fotos, aqui:

Photos by Paulo Rodrigues and Tiago Serra

[EN] The talks were some of the best moments of the event.

Members of the AZ Labs Network board of directors Ricardo Lobo, Pedro Ângelo, Tiago Serra, Catarina Mota and myself talked about the organization, the three labs, FabriCulture and a few new and exciting projects such as the AZ Residency and our participation in Guimarães Capital of Culture.

Filipe Martins, who has an MS in Product Design in Biopolymers and has been exploring sustainability in processes, technologies and materials, gave a talk titled Design for Material Autonomy focused on processes to create your own fabrication materials as well as dispose of them at the end of a product’s life cycle.

Tiago Rorke, who has a degree in industrial design and together with Greg Saul formed Diatom Studio (with the goal of exploring the possibilities of digital fabrication to give end users a role in the design process), talked about SketchChair, a work-in-progress system to create a free, open-source software tool that will allow anyone to easily design and build their own digitally fabricated furniture.

Vasco Portugal, who is exploring ways to achieve sustainable development while working on his PhD thesis at the MIT|Portugal Program, talked about the origins and evolution of Fab Labs as well his work-in-progress project “architectural-form-generator system to engineer sand through microbially induced cementation.”

More details about each of the talks here. And lots of photos here:

Photos by Paulo Rodrigues and Tiago Serra


[PT] Uma vez que se tratou do nosso primeiro FabriCamp, aprendemos coisas importantes para melhorar os encontros futuros. Se algum participante tiver propostas para alterações e melhorias que nos queira apresentar, pode usar a caixa de comentários aqui abaixo. O FabriCamp Porto e o FabriCamp Coimbra serão provavelmente os próximos, mas quem não viver em nenhuma destas cidades e quiser organizar um FabriCamp, informe-nos da intenção, que nós daremos toda a ajuda que estiver ao nosso alcance.

Por fim, gostaríamos de agradecer a todos os elementos da grande equipa que ajudou a pôr em pé este evento: Os membros da AZ Labs Network e a toda a equipa do Pavilhão do Conhecimento.

[EN] Since this was our first FabriCamp we also learned some important lessons on how to make future gatherings better. If any of the participants have suggestions for changes and improvements, please use the comments form below to tell us about your ideas. FabriCamp Porto and FabriCamp Coimbra will likely be next, but if you don’t live in any of these cities and would like to host one, let us know, we will provide you with all the assistance we can.

Finally, we must thank all the elements of the great team that helped put this event together: AZ Labs Network members and the Pavilhão do Conhecimento team.

FabriCamp Lx1 Talks

April 3rd 2011 | 3 de Abril de 2011 @ Pavilhão do Conhecimento


AZ Labs Network Team

AZ Labs

The AZ Labs Network is a collaborative network of portuguese medialabs/hackerspaces hosted by the Audiência Zero cultural association. It is comprised of altLab in Lisbon, LCD in Porto and xDA in Coimbra. This talk will present the network, its labs, ongoing projects and future plans.

Ricardo Lobo: President of the AZ Labs Network and co-founder of LCD. Background on political philosophy and political science. Presently studying Digital Art at University of Minho.

Catarina Mota: cofounder of altLab and of openMaterials.org, board member of the AZ Labs Network, PhD candidate at FCSH-UNL (with a scholarship from FCT-MCTES under the UTAustin|Portugal protocol), and visiting scholar at ITP-NYU.

Maurício Martins: chair of altLab, member of the AZ Labs Network board of directors. Has a background in electronics and video production. As a tinkerer develops physical computing and interactive interfaces projects.

Pedro Ângelo: interactive software+hardware researcher at EngageLab, Digital Art Master’s student at University of Minho, cofounder of Blender-PT and PortoLinux, cofounder and chair of LCD, member of the AZ Labs Network board of directors.

Tiago Serra: cofounder and chair of xDA, member of the AZ Labs Network board of directors. Entrepeneur, Engineer and Designer at SenseBloom.

Catarina Mota

Website |  Twitter


Overview of the open source digital fabrication panorama and introduction of the FabriCulture project.

Catarina Mota is cofounder of altLab and of openMaterials.org, board member of the AZ Labs Network, PhD candidate at FCSH-UNL (with a scholarship from FCT-MCTES under the UTAustin|Portugal protocol), and visiting scholar at ITP-NYU.

Filipe Miguel Martins

Design for Material Autonomy

Biopolymers are now a growing family of materials that changes the source of the material, as well as other aspects of the materials life-cycle. As in the past times, when people produced the materials they needed for the objects they built, so today we can produce plastics to be injected in 3D printers. Though this is still in the fields of theory, it’s development would increase the autonomy of the consumer in the most part of the stages of the design and production process, when inter-related with RepRap printers and 3d modelling software.

I’m a graduate in Product Design by the FA-UTL, with a master of Product Design in Biopolymers by the same university. In the last few years i’ve been in touch with sustainability in processes, technologies and materials, as well as arts and agriculture, and the way these things influence our life-style and behaviour.

Vasco Portugal


This research focuses on designing an architectural-form-generator system able to deal with natural matter and living micro-organisms to produce architectural outcomes without hurting the environment. In doing so, it explores the possibilities of MICP (Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation), which is a biomineralization process applied to improve the engineering properties of granular structures like sand. MICP uses populations of bacteria (Bacillus Pasteurii) that cement sand in a growth medium amended with urea and dissolved calcium source. This method can be used to improve soil stability, to heal concrete cracks, to build roads and paths, to restore monuments, or to transform sand into sandstone to generate 3D structures.
The architectural-form-generator system consists of a robot that is able to manipulate sand and inject a mixture of bacteria, urea, calcium chloride and water into it, to generate an architectural outcome. The robot has a specific morphology that allows it to move on granular grounds and to administrate the mixture. It is programmed with a script that defines the trajectory it has to follow to generate an architectural shape. If the script is modified, the robot generates a different formal outcome. It works like a 3D printer that uses bacteria instead of resin to bind the grains together, generating the structure by layers. Hence the aim of this project is not to design a shape but a set of rules and protocols to generate it, in such a way that the robot would be able to produce surface-like outcomes: paths, roads, volume-like ones: shelters, houses, walls, or even inject the mixture into pre-existent structures to heal them.

Vasco Portugal studied Architecture Design at the FAUTL in Lisbon and Advanced Architecture at IaaC-UPC in Barcelona receiving is diploma in 2006. During his undergraduate years in the Lisbon Architecture University he carry out three years of studies in Animation and Directing in the audiovisual School RESTART and in one of the most prestigious Portuguese art Institutions, The Gulbenkian Foundation partnering with the prestigious French animation School SUPIMFOCOM.
After graduating he moved to Italy where he worked from 2006 to 2007 at Massimiliano Fuksas studio in Rome designing multiple scale buildings all over the world. In 2008 left to Barcelona collaborating as a freelancer for a number of architecture studios while concluding is master in Self sufficient habitats and Digital Tectonics at IaaC. During his studies he grows an interest in social, cultural and humanitarian design and digital fabrication. His master thesis focused on social housing for a developing Romania through passive design structured according to a pre-set number of rules of colonizing space.
Subsequently in 2009 worked for Julien de Smedt Studio and ADEPT architecture in Copenhagen addressing sustainability outcomes in the largest part of the projects to promote sustainable planning, mitigating our carbon footprint.
Presently is deeply committed to exploring how to achieve sustainable development while working on his PhD thesis at MIT(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Portugal Program – with the custody of Technical University of Lisbon (Instituto Superior Técnico, IST, and Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão, ISEG).
Vasco’s PhD research is an investigation of the sustainability of slum upgrading and research in sustainable development of infrastructure in poor environments and particularly in developing countries. Presently he is teaching digital fabrication at IST fab lab.
His work spans many disciplines, including Architecture, materials, fabrication, and convergent goods. The linking thread in these projects is empathy for conceptual thinking and a profound care for social issues, translating intangible projects into actual solutions.

Tiago Rorke

SketchChair: Open Source DIY Furniture

SketchChair is a work in progress towards a free, open-source software tool that will allow anyone to easily design and build their own digitally fabricated furniture. By letting users upload and share chairs they have created, could designs evolve as they are continually refined and modified by a community of people? This could, we hope, provide a resource like an open-source Ikea store, filled with customisable products.

Tiago Rorke graduated from the industrial design program at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Together him and his collegue Greg Saul have formed Diatom Studio, with the goal of exploring the possibilities of digital fabrication to give end users a role in the design process.