'Maker Lab' part of Innovation Festival

17 May 2017

The future of digital fabrication will be on show in Newcastle's CBD this weekend as part of the Hunter Innovation Festival.
Laser cutters, 3D printers and 3D scanners will be among the new generation of printing devices put to work in the pop-up "Maker Lab", open at the Three76 Hub on Hunter St from Saturday 20 May to Wednesday 24 May.

3D printed items
The lab, a collaboration of Newcastle Region Library, Council's smart city initiative, the University of Newcastle and digital fabrication consultant FABRICATE.STUDIO, is the city's first publicly accessible digital maker space and will feature a 3D chocolate printer.
Lord Mayor of Newcastle Nuatali Nelmes said the innovative concept added to Newcastle's growing reputation as a tech hub.
"This is an exciting opportunity for our library to partner with the creative industries to once again promote and showcase Newcastle as a smart city," she said.
"We can't wait to see what our local creative minds produce with access to this new technology.
"As well as building the infrastructure to become a smart city, we're promoting science, technology, engineering and maths, which are known as STEM subjects, to build the foundations for the future."
The lab program includes 3D printing workshops, introductory classes for 3D scanning/laser etching and drop-in 3D printing and scanning sessions.

Digital fabrication is a way of the future
Other events planned for the Hunter Innovation Festival, which runs 18-26 May, include tech workshops, forums, talks and a 12-hour "hack-fest" for computer programmers and others to collaborate on software development.
"This festival will highlight global trends in innovation and we are proud to be a major sponsor," ICEO Jeremy Bath said.
"Bringing together the region's innovators for this festival further highlights Newcastle's growing reputation as a world-class centre for cutting-edge technology."
The Maker Lab will be open to school groups and the public, and people of any age and technical experience are invited to participate.
The temporary facility will precede installation later this year of a permanent maker lab at Newcastle Region Library, part of a $1.3 million refurbishment.
Bookings for Maker Lab sessions are essential and can be made via Newcastle Region Library's Eventbrite page.
Email library@ncc.nsw.gov.au for more information. Go to the Hunter Innovation Festival's homepage for festival info and a full program of events.
Media are invited to view the Lab on Friday 19 May at 11am.
The 2017 Hunter Innovation Festival will challenge business, industry and community with the newest ideas in innovation and highlight local success stories.
The festival will engage and inspire Hunter businesses, industry and the community to act on advances in technology and thinking.