Published on 17 January 2020

A solidarity FabLab brimming with ideas

The Château-Thierry Solidarity FabLab has come up with an idea which combines ingenuity with solidarity: training young people to use digital production tools by recycling plastic left over from 3D printing. We love it!

Better digital inclusion for young people

The Château-Thierry FabLab, which the Orange Foundation has supported from its inception, now has new premises to welcome young people in the best possible conditions. If offers access to digital production tools and training for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds: out of education, looking for work, or in receipt of support from local community organizations.

The space is divided into several sections:

  • A workshop with machining equipment, a laser cutting machine, and a 3D printer with two printing techniques.
  • A textile and personalization space equipped with an embroidery machine and a vinyl cutter.
  • An electronic space with components, a welding station, and a parts store.
  • A design space.
  • A training space with computers.
  • A modular space for meetings or workshops.
  • A kitchen space, for communal living at the FabLab.

This set-up makes it possible to run several activities at the same time, while providing access to professional equipment.
The aim is to develop technical and digital skills, but also offer training in project management and working as a team.




Learning to respect the environment too!

Alongside the hands-on digital training delivered by all Solidarity FabLabs, Château-Thierry is running a programme for recycling plastic waste from 3D printing.
A more responsible and sustainable form of digital training will therefore emerge at the heart of the town’s cultural and community centre.
The space hosts around 30 organizations (Mission Locale, Ecole de la 2eme chance, and other cultural organizations and sports clubs), to deliver community projects which bring together young people and volunteers.
To inspire an interest in technical work, the FabLab has two clubs, and is already working on several projects: the space club, for making micro-rockets and popularizing science, and the robot club.

Exciting projects:

  • Setting up a business incubator for young people who want to launch a business once they have completed their training.
  • Hosting a mini-conference in the space.
  • Setting up a co-working space.
  • Hosting the future local branch of the Open Space Maker Federation.