Fablab City Helsinki meeting memo

(also posted on ADC 2012 site)

Here is a memo from the Fablab City Helsinki meeting which took place on 14 Dec 2011. A lot of people showed up in the event so there seem to be a lot of interest toward Fablabs and maker culture movement in Helsinki!

The notes were written down by Massimo Menichinelli (thanks!) and I edited these further. Please write a comment if you notice any errors or omissions.

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Presented projects and related discussions:


“We are currently putting all the pieces together to start the first Finnish Fablab here at Aalto Media Factory: finding local suppliers for the machines and raw materials, designing the space to fit our needs, building the website, educating ourselves about Fablab practices and mingling with other maker-minded groups in Helsinki region (there’s quite a bit going on now that the World Design Capital year is almost at hand). Most of the machines should have arrived by early January, and the grand opening is planned to take place around the beginning of February 2012.”

More information: http://mediafactory.aalto.fi/?p=1190


The underlying idea of Tuunaamo is modifying disposable culture towards sustainable consumption, where instead of buying new objects we will repair something old, therefore creating even better ‘new’ objects. Many residents of Helsinki have small homes, and too little space for supplies, sewing, rug making, or painting the bookshelves. Tuunaamo provides facilities, equipment, advise and help.

In addition, Tuunaamo creates a sense of community and togetherness, activities where people can get/give advise, help each other and exchange news. The goal is to reach young and old, the main population and immigrants. 

Let’s create a first model, as a source of inspiration to all the parts of the city!

1. Action-day

MiniTuunaamo is established during one day at a public space. The goal is to attract media attention as well as to raise public support for the idea. We aim to co-operate with at least the city of Helsinki.
A space for this one-day-event is booked from the Helsinki city Library 10 for Saturday the 11th of February 2012.

Library 10 is located right next to the central railway station of Helsinki, on the second floor of Central Post Office.

2. Tuunaamo-project

We dream of a permanent Tuunaamo, where exists facilities and equipment for as many activities as possible. (Sewing, upholstery, knitting, painting, refurbishing, bicycle repair, …) Storage for work in progress and donated/recycled materials.

Facilities, preferably from the central area.

A hired “janitor”, who handles maintenance, facilities, monitoring, and opening hours.

The space is open for everyone to spontaniously arrive and work with their projects during opening hours.

Workshop activities, where you can learn new skills, teachers hired through regular salary or timebank.

Volunteer & timebank-based guidance and advice for example about sewing.

A more detailed project planning and finance-hunting will begin in January.

Information about Dodo: http://www.dodo.org

A recent meeting regarding Tuunaamo project (info in Finnish): http://dodo.org/uutiset/toimistolla-k-ynnistettiin-tekij-iden-kaupunkia-lauantaina-1012


– A space for building, making, hacking things (electronics, hardware, etc)
– Organises workshops, open day events
– Hacklab Helsinki: 150 members in 2 years (mostly 2011)
– There are also hacklabs in Turku, Tampere, Oulu and Jyväskylä
– There has been a lot of media interested towards hacklab and maker movement
– A summit of Finnish hackerspaces will take place this summer

– Open for everyone on Tuesday evenings
– If you become a member (20 euro per year) you can use the facilities during weekly meetings
– If you pay additional 20-40 euros per month and you get keys and 24h access to the space
– Fees are used for paying the rent
– Hacklab Helsinki is registered as a non-profit organization (yhdistys)
– Hacklab has 2 reprap machines, a lot of tools for working with electronics + other tools/machines/devices (mostly via donations to Hacklab Helsinki)

More information: http://www.hacklab.fi


In connection with the Hacklab Helsinki presentation, there was some discussion about the possibility of organising Maker Faire in Helsinki. Hacklab community have been thinking about this, HUB Helsinki people as well, etc. Alternative Party has reserved Cable Factory venue in the autumn, the reservation could be perhaps used for this event.

We should talk more about this in the upcoming ADC Gathering (Sat 28 Jan) and in the Invisible Helsinki event on WDC Helsinki weekend (Sat 4 Feb).

More information: http://adc2012.org/events/maker-faire-finland


Florencia Colombo gave a short presentation about Aalto ADDLAB. They have their own space in Otaniemi and are setting up a Fablab-type of space with special machinery. Collaborations have been set up with Artek, Nokia and UCLA. They are currently preparing a series of guest lectures for this year.

Quote from the ADDLAB leaflet:

“Aalto University Digital Design Laboratory is a pilot project, jointly initiated by the School of Engineering and the School of Art and Design, to prototype organizational and operational models as well as to explore new physical and digital environments for learning.

ADDLAB is a prototype of the new Aalto environment, functioning as a hub of activity that fosters social interaction and cultural inspiration. As a space and as a program it aims to provide a forum for scientists, engineers, designers, artists and architects that facilitates cross-disciplinary exchange, networking and collaboration.

ADDLAB addresses the potential of digital design technologies by forming a research and development platform focused on bridging the gap between digital representation and physical realization.

ADDLAB creates projects through collaborations with public institutions and industry partners interested to explore and develop opportunities that digital design offers. Several projects are in progress for the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012. Current partners include collaborations with KONE, UPM Profi and ARTEK.”

More information: http://addlab.aalto.fi/


Jesse from Ore-e refineries project have a provocative presentation. Jesse works as a blacksmith and he wanted to challenge the crowd to think about the impact of 3D printers and other devices promoted by the hacker/maker movement. One question he put forth was whether the 3D-printer the bread machine of today?

Automatic bread-baking machines were popular at some point (in 80s-90s), many households bought one since it was supposedly make it easier to bake bread. This turned out to be a short-lived trend – the bread machines are forgotten now in the closets, since it’s actually easy to bake bread using a normal oven, and the conventional baking gives more flexibility.

What is the social impact of people buying or building 3D printers? Instead of approaching a craftsman who lives next door, they might just stay isolated at home. And what kind of things do people make with these automated machines? In traditional craftsmanship, objects are built to last, and to be fixed. Do 3D-printers encourage people to produce more unnecessary junk? And does it limit them from studying more traditional forms of crafting?

Jesse’s talk was strongly challenged by the pro-maker-culture crowd who had gathered at the event, and the main point of the discussion was whether Antti was concerned of losing his job when new innovations appear.

More information: http://oree.storijapan.net/


In the end of the session, Henrik Rydberg gave a short presentation of Tinkercad tool. Tinkercad is a Finnish startup company, they have made an online tool that people (even very young kids!) can use to design 3D-objects that can be printed out.

“Have your first 3D project ready for printing in minutes. Tinkercad is a new and faster way of creating designs for your 3D printer. With the help of the latest web technology you can now use a solid modeling CAD directly in your browser.

The user interface is designed to get things done fast and to be quick to learn. With only three basic tools you can create a wide range of useful things. Once your project is ready simply download the STL file and start your 3D print. Sign up for a free account now!”

More information: http://tinkercad.com

Other relevant projects that were not presented at the event (due to conflicting schedules of the presenters):


Trashlab monthly events explore experimental art-design-technology practice between hacker and maker cultures, in the context of re/up-cycling and the increased availability of new fabrication tools. Trashlab’s objective is to build up a community of people (artists, designers, hackers, makers, re/up-cyclers, activists) who are concerned with material and electronic waste in contemporary society, and tackle this problem with creative and tangential approaches.

More information: http://adc2012.org/projects/trashlabhttp://trashlab.info


During year 2012, KOKOMYS will arrange workshops about electronics in parks in Helsinki.

More information (in Finnish): http://adc2012.org/projects/piktroniquehttp://www.kokomys.com

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Thanks a lot for joining the event, hoping to see you in the upcoming ADC Gathering on Saturday 28 January!

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