"The Solidarity FabLab energised me"
Julien joined the Toulouse Solidarity FabLab a year ago. He was out of work and doubting himself when he first discovered the world of FabLabs. A year later, the experience has helped restore his self-confidence and develop new horizons.
After earning a two-year degree in wood technology, Julien decided to abandon the field and try something else. With the help of the Trajectoires Pour l’emploi NGO, he looked into different fields and ultimately settled on Artilect: "I wasn’t interested in wood. But during one of the association’s workshops I met someone from the Orange Foundation, who talked to me and brought me to the Solidarity FabLab."
"You see what you do and get results"
When he joined the Solidarity FabLab in fall 2015, Julien discovered a whole new world: "I’d heard a little about it, but the whole concept was still very vague for me." His first experiences at the FabLab fascinated him. The machines, the different backgrounds, and the enthusiasm about the projects... Julien was very curious when he joined the FabLab: "I could see how it worked, with the 3D printers and laser cutters. There was a lot to see, it was really exciting!"
As the weeks passed, Julien found his marks at the FabLab and started really learning by working on projects "It’s very practical. You see what you do and get results. It’s a hands-on way of learning, it’s not just theoretical. You know that it’s useful!" In November 2015, he joined the Toulouse Clean-up project team, as part of the #Imake4mycity digital manufacturing challenge. Julien worked with the whole team to design a robot to prevent pollution in the Garonne River: "I made all of the 3D models. I already knew a few basics, but I also used the FabLab’s 3D design software, which I trained myself to use. ”
"I trained myself to use the FabLab’s 3D design software"
-Julien, with the Clean Up project team
"I’m capable of doing things"
After spending several months at the FabLab, Julien says the experience was all positive, and he is looking ahead. "The people I met at the FabLab, the projects, everything I’ve learned... All of that should help me get a job in digital, or in something else!" In addition to developing professional skills, the Solidarity FabLab helped restore Julien’s confidence in himself and his future: "When you’ve been unemployed for a while, you lose your self-confidence and feel useless. Working at the FabLab helped me realize that yes, I can do things, and I’m not so afraid to reach out to people now."
Julien now has "a lot of projects going on". Projects that he wants to work on with the FabLab community, so he can keep on learning and sharing.