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What’s a Fab Lab?



Defining a Fablab

It’s a worldwide network of local laboratories where several people come together to create objects using special tools. These places are open to all, and encourage the sharing of ideas and knowledge. Fab Labs are equipped with machines such as:

  • 3D printers
  • Laser cutters

to manufacture objects in innovative ways. They are used for a wide range of projects, from prototyping to the creation of customized objects in small series.

Origin and evolution

The fablab concept dates back to the end of the 20th century, and was conceived by Neil Gershenfeld (physicist, computer scientist and MIT professor). He discovered these spaces where people with a common interest in technology and computing could come together to tinker and create.

Inspired by what he saw, he decided to create the first makerspace where students could get together to create digitally.

Fundamental principles of a FabLab

Accessibility and openness to all

GénieLab stands out for its accessibility and openness to all, including people with disabilities. Our team accompanies young people in the conceptualization and realization of objects, offering support tailored to each individual. This inclusive approach ensures that everyone can participate fully in the activities offered by GénieLab.

Knowledge sharing and collaboration

The guiding principle of this organization is that of community. Sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas and pooling practices is what brings users’ projects to life.

Users benefit from the fab lab’s services and exchanges, but they also “give” and participate in its smooth running, by sharing their own knowledge. The fab lab is as much a place for exchange as it is for training.

Typical Fablab equipment

3D printers

3D printers


This machine can cut a variety of materials with great precision, depending on what the user has decided to do.

GénieLab uses the Cricut to create personalized designs, which young people can use during workshops in the laboratory. For example, to cut out complex shapes or personalize their artistic creations, decorative elements or even clothing. This technology lets them express their creativity and imagination.

Electronics and Microbit

Microcontrollers are like little computer brains that can be programmed to control tools such as lights or sensors. They are used to enable objects to perform actions automatically.

On the other hand, electronic tools, such as test plates and wires, are used to assemble and rapidly create prototypes of electronic inventions.

These are designed to be easy to use and understand, even for young people. Techno-creation kits often come with simple step-by-step guides and tutorials on how to use them.

This enables young people to quickly familiarize themselves with these technologies and start creating their own projects without the need for in-depth knowledge of programming or electronics.

Schéma du micro:bit er de ses capteurs

GenieLab's FabLab creations

3D printed objects

They enable you to give shape to an idea, a drawing or a shape created on an online application.

Using 3D modeling software and a 3D printer, these tools simplify the creation of new objects, and enable you to create prototypes of what you want to develop later. Here’s an example of the object we use to create our products to keep the micro:bit stable on the platform (yellow part).

Apparel and accessories design

Workshops are regularly organized for the very young, accessible from the age of 7. For example, the sweater personalization workshop, in which participants create and print their own designs on their sweaters.

Artistic initiatives

The Lab Creative days are designed to welcome groups of 15 to 25 young people aged 7 to 15, with a focus on the integration and inclusion of young people with special needs, certain disabilities or learning challenges from the Plateau-Mont-Royal and wider Montreal area. During these days, youngsters are coached to create their own connected instrument using the micro:bit microcontroller.

They start by designing their own cardboard guitar model using laser cutting, then move on to coding their own personalized music. At the end of their participation, each young person leaves with the instrument they have decorated and assembled themselves.

Learning path kits

GenieLab’s learning path kits are a set of tools and resources designed for educational and interactive use. They can contain various components such as microcontrollers, sensors, actuators, connecting wires, programming software, user guides and more.
They are designed to enable young users to create simple technological projects, providing a practical introduction to concepts such as programming, electronics and robotics.

GenieLab-specific projects

GenieLab hosted Camp Wally for the FabLab de Boisbriand: a unique and fun educational techno experience! During the camp, campers had the chance to immerse themselves in the world of Wally, inhabitant of the Genie Sphere, a unique universe inhabited by characters who need their technological know-how. Wally is ready to give assignments in programming, electronics and digital crafts to future initiates.

Little by little, Génielab is developing partnerships with other creative organizations, in order to open up to new themes, always with a view to innovation.


Genielab is a place accessible to all, promoting collaboration and innovation through digital fabrication tools. It embodies a space for learning, creation and experimentation, often geared towards creativity and collaboration.

Access to innovation for all, and the presence of digital tools to put ideas into practice, make our structure an integral part of FabLabs.

The growing importance of FabLabs in the current context

The way in which fab labs operate is fully in line with the spirit of the times, with the notion of sharing, exchanging and sharing work in the service of progress and greater dissemination of knowledge.

A fablab is a real meeting place where ideas are exchanged, passed on and confronted by amateurs and experts alike. This combination of skills gives rise to unique creative approaches and technological advances.

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Summer programming

GénieLab offers techno-creative workshops every weekend from July 6 to August 17, 2024!

Accessible to children aged 7 and over