Dassault Systèmes & Fab Foundation to open self-replicating fab lab

Feb. 9, 2022
Fab labs provide a platform for capacity building, knowledge sharing and integration of hardware and software disciplines.

Today at 3DEXPERIENCE World 2022, Dassault Systèmes, The Fab Foundation and Paul Altidor, former Ambassador of Haiti to the U.S., announced a planned state-of-the-art digital fabrication lab or “fab lab” that will be located in Jérémie, Haiti. The lab will offer local makers the opportunity to use advanced digital fabrication tools to further develop their skills. This facility promises to close the gap between local makers and advanced global digital-fabrication tools and skills. 

Fab Lab Jérémie is the fifth in a sequence of fab labs set up by Dassault Systèmes in collaboration with The Fab Foundation, after Rwanda, Bhutan, Chile and Nepal. It is aimed at stimulating digital fabrication and the local technology ecosystem. Fab labs provide a platform for capacity building, knowledge sharing and integration of hardware and software disciplines, to bring Haitian innovators closer to a self-sustained future. 

This fab lab, however, will be the first in a series of ‘self-replicating’ fab labs that aim to make machines that can create the entire set of other machines, components and utilities required to set up and operate a fully-functional fab lab in a second community.   

“We’ve partnered with MIT's Center for Bits & Atoms on a project called ‘Machines that Make,’ and can now produce the machines for a fab lab, in a fab lab, for about 1/10th the price of off-the-shelf technology,” said Sherry Lassiter, president and CEO of The Fab Foundation. “Haiti will pilot the first fab lab made in a fab lab, enabling the Jérémie community to build new economic opportunity locally, and to scale opportunity across the country.” 

“Fab labs are places makers come to access machines, know-how and mentoring. We have been enabling this renaissance, working together with our partner, The Fab Foundation, for nearly a decade,” said Jain. “This year we are shifting the scales of innovation by introducing the concept of ‘self-replicating’ labs that have the potential to define the trajectory of a better, sustainable world. And we are starting with Haiti.” 

“This first-of-its kind digital fabrication lab will accelerate the process of revitalizing the local economy and elevate the city of Jérémie into a technological destination for Haiti’s creative thinkers, designers and entrepreneurs,” said Altidor. “Trained in Fab Lab Jérémie and equipped with cutting-edge knowledge and know-how, local talents will go on to design and develop new technologies and eventually enable Haiti to leapfrog into an emerging economy in the near future.”