Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Barcelona’s Fab Cafe Sees Continued Traffic as They Combine Lattes, Treats and 3D Printing

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8381959299_e010e6b7e6_kEarlier this year, the European Commission crowned Barcelona as the first European Capital of Innovation. And for good reason, since Barcelona has really embraced innovation by doing things such as adding electric zero-emission buses on its public transit lines and featuring city fountains which use water efficiently.

Now Barcelona can add 3D printing to its growing list of innovations. Barcelona’s new 3D-printing hub, FabCafe, is actually part cafe, part 3D-printing station. The spot offers food and walk-in 3D-printing services.

“At the moment, there is nowhere in Barcelona that offers this,” said Cecilia Tham, the founder of FabCafe Barcelona, to CNBC.com in a phone interview.

If you’re not committed to 3D printing and you just want to try it out, the costs are reasonable. It’s 10 euros ($13.42) to use the cafe’s laser-cutter for 10 minutes and 36 euros ($48) for 45 minutes of 3D printing.

Though people who are aware of 3D Printing are probably excited that the spot has opened, Barcelona’s FabCafe wants to expose more everyday folks to the technology.

“3D printing and laser cutting – they’re not new technologies, but they haven’t really been accessible to the general public yet,” said Tham. “We wanted to create that ‘accessibility for all’. It doesn’t really matter if you’re five years old or 90, or if you’re amateur or professional… we really believed in the act of creating and building creative confidence.”

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To help amateurs take 3D printing by the horns, the staff at the cafe are glad to show them how and where they can find pre-designed files to print.

“If you are new to the sector, there’s a whole entire array of online platforms where you can download pre-made models and we can print them [for you],” Tham said.

These pre-made products include bracelets, necklaces and superhero models. Barcelona’s FabCafe is the company’s third branded FabCafe location, though Fabcafe maintains partnerships with about 150 locations worldwide that agree to abide by its fab ethos. The company has its roots in Tokyo, Japan, and was started out of the desire to combine fabulousness and fabrication. Food came into play because a nice, hot latte is great when you’re making things. The cafe has an additional location in Taipei, China.

Would you consider paying a visit to this Fab Cafe in Barcelona?  What do you think about the costs to rent time on their 3D printers?  Have you paid a visit already?  Let’s hear your thoughts in the Barcelona Fab Cafe forum thread on 3DPB.com.  Check out the video below showing what the Fab Cafes are all about.

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