FabLab: Opportunities Within the KX Community
KX Knowledge Xchange aspires to become a hub of innovation for startups within Thailand. One of the best ways with which we can attain this goal is through prototyping. As a community of startups, we know the value of having a working concept at hand. For those who want to take part in a firm that helps bring their ideas to life, there is no better place to turn to than our partners at FabLab.
As a member of the KX Community, FabLab Bangkok plays a crucial role in our prototype incubator and accelerator program. Using CNC machinery and other tools at hand, the team at FabLab has helped prototype projects for clients and provided guidance at a reasonable cost.
In addition to this, the company also offers internships for people who are interested in the world of prototypes and operating the cutting-edge machinery that make our incubator and accelerator program possible. We recently caught up with their intern “Deepak” to find out what his experience has been like at FabLab.
1. Can you describe your experience with Fablab before you began your internship? Were you familiar with digital fabrication tools, or was this your first time working with them?
I used to work at Ashok Leyland as a CNC machine operator in the engine department, then I worked at Ajax Engineering in quality assurance. I’ve heard of digital fabrication tools before, but FabLab was the first time I got to experience using them.
2. Can you tell us about a project you have worked on during your internship? What are some challenges you faced? How did you overcome these obstacles?
We recently developed a prototype for a client exploring the potential of generating electricity with magnets. They reached out after seeing a YouTube video about it. One of the challenges I faced was having to deal with limited information at hand, as clients usually have more information on how they want their working product to be like. I took it as a personal challenge and kept the client involved during the prototyping stage. Communication is key, and it lets both you and the client know if you’re on the same page.
3. How have you been involved in the prototyping process? How do you gather feedback and put it into future iterations?
I gather feedback before a prototype is made and after it has been made. A client’s feedback during these stages helps me compare results and lets me understand where I can and improve, and what features they would like to be kept in the next iteration.
4. How do you approach testing and validation of prototypes?
We use testing procedures whenever a client comes up with a concept, idea or specification. This testing procedure involves research to find out more about what the client wants and how we can make it work once we get to the prototyping stage. Whenever a new iteration is prototyped, we usually validate it first and receive feedback before we decide to build more iterations.
5. Can you tell us about a project where you had to work with a tight budget and timeline?
We once had to work with some students who wanted to build a robot. With a budget set at 250 Baht and a prototype needed in three days, we didn’t have a lot of time on our hands. We approached this challenge by advising the students on how they can stay within their budget and the materials they use, as well as giving them access to FabLab’s tools. It turned out great in the end, and I’m proud of what I helped them achieve.
6. How do you measure the success of a prototype?
I measure the success of a prototype through the client’s feedback. It lets me know what I can improve upon, and what I can iterate in future prototypes. To me, a prototype is considered a success when the client is satisfied with an iteration that matches or exceeds their expectations.
7. Can you describe a specific tool or piece of equipment that you found particularly challenging to use, and how you eventually mastered it?
I wasn’t familiar with FabLab’s machines including 3D Printers, CNC machine, Laser Cutter and others when I first started, and I felt a bit defeated while trying to figure them out. I put in some hours to learn how they work and asked my seniors for help when I needed something clarified to me.
8. Can you share any interesting or unexpected things you learned during your time at Fablab?
I had a basic understanding of 3D modeling software like Autocad. It was interesting to see how my understanding of it helped me learn how to use Fusion360/Rhino – which is what FabLab uses for their 3D modeling.
9. Are you interested in working for FabLab after your internship? If so, what are your plans for future projects?
I’m interested in working with Fablab after my internship and would like to keep learning and growing with them. My goal is to make the most of my experience by sharing my knowledge and contributing to the learning process in a meaningful way. I am excited about the prospect of working with Fablab and making a valuable contribution to the team.
10. Can you describe an accomplishment that you are particularly proud of from your time at Fablab?
I’m proud to be part of other people’s projects and helping them bring their projects to life. Guiding them and giving suggestions is something I enjoy doing, and I am glad to have been able to make a positive impact in this way.
Deepuk’s story is still ongoing at FabLab, where he will be able to apply what he has learned into other projects. For those interested in learning more about the technical side of prototyping, consider taking an internship with us at FabLab! We will be more than happy to guide you as you learn. For more information, get in touch with us through the following channels: