I was in Orlando, Florida last week and got to stop by FamiLAB for a quick tour. They moved into their current location in 2015, and there was a full build-out, and they’ve got a space that appears to be what they wanted. I snapped a few photos along they way, so enjoy!
The lobby/lounge area had some couches and lots of video game systems, and this awesome set of LED lamps that a member made. They feature laser-cut wood and rice paper along with RGB LEDs and a microcontoller.
FamiLAB has a stained glass workbench, and this is a piece a member made (their first piece ever!) which features the FamiLAB logo. I had though it was just one big piece of glass cut to that shape, but I was told each individual section is a piece of glass, and they all get attached together. Impressive!
Hey, it’s a 3D Printer! It looks like an older CubeX that is being ripped apart to install some open source electronics. (I’m speculating here…) There’s also a local 3D Printer company called DeltaMaker that some of the members are involved with. (I did see some DeltaMaker machines while at the Orlando Science Center.)
This makerspace has an actual darkroom… for film, and it works, and it’s functional. This is somewhat rare, from what I’ve seen.
There’s a vending machine where you can buy electronic parts and other things. There was mention of trying to stock it with items some of the members make, including fine chocolates and some amazing jerky.
There’s a Haas Milling Machine that took some time to get up and running, but cost almost nothing to acquire and repair.
An old lathe is a good lathe… Solid construction, heavy as hell. Supposedly there was talk of cleaning it up real nice but how can you disturb a machine with so much character and history?
There’s a big CNC Router for cutting large sheets of wood or other materials…
The classroom, and the office-type rooms were all brightly lit and had white (well, very light grey) walls. It felt much different than so many of the Midwest makerspaces that are in dingy old industrial buildings. Granted, they did to a lot of the build-out of the space, and made conscious decisions about the way it should look.
When I looked up at the tall ceilings I asked about building a mezzanine or second floor, and that’s when I was reminded that in Florida it probably gets to 120° F at the top of the building in the summer. They’ve got some big AC units, but not enough to combat that sort of heat! They also have no furnace, which again, sounds weird to me being a Wisconsin resident.
One more Florida thing, there’s actually a swamp next to the building, which is handy, because that’s where they vent their laser cutter exhaust. Oh, and their laser cutter & 3D printing room has a super-seal on the door to ensure all fumes get sucked out of the building, and none of them leak back into the rest of the space.
Overall, FamiLAB looks like a pretty cool space with some cool people. A bunch of them are also heavily involved in Maker Faire Orlando, which is also excellent.
Oh, I also made a very brief visit to Skycraft Parts & Surplus, which is pretty much the equivalent of American Science & Surplus if you live in Milwaukee, or Ax-Man Surplus if you live in Minneapolis. Does every city have these kinds of stores?