They’ve quit their day jobs to establish New Zealand’s second fabrication laboratory – a Fab Lab – and now have seven 3D printers, a laser cutter and other machines plus a social mission to turn people from consumers into makers.
Carl Pavletich and business partner Bridget McKendry founded the Fab Lab as a transitional project after the quakes and have now moved permanently into the creative space at Exchange Christchurch (XCHC). It was officially opened Saturday.
The Fab Lab XCHC is a “community digital fabrication workshop that supports grass-roots innovation”, reads their website. “Everything we do is designed on a computer and output in real life,” McKendry said. They’ve helped elderly women 3D-print buttons, children manufacture objects from the computer game Minecraft and are working with cycling enthusiasts to improve their riding experience.
Armed with a two-year, $200,000 grant from the Canterbury Community Trust’s first-in-New Zealand Social Enterprise Fund, they want to “empower people to become the makers and creators of their own world”.