La Gare coworking space is building a new public fabrication laboratory (fab lab) for makers and hobbyists to work on projects using 3D printing.
Christian Bélair, Credo’s president (the parent company of La Gare), told MTLinTECH that the space will open in January. It will be nestled into the back corner of La Gare’s space with its own separate door to outside.
“We want to do it right,” said Bélair. “One of our members is helping us with the project and she’s travelling to France this fall to visit fab labs there. We want to do a few meetings with designers or others who will use the fab lab to be sure of what their needs are. After that we’ll buy the equipment.”
La Gare is located at 5333 ave Casgrain in the Plateau neighbourhood.
The news comes three weeks after Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce’s Benny Library announced it would open the city’s first fab lab inside a library.
Makerbloks, one of Bélair’s tenants at La Gare, served as an impetus for Credo to initialize the idea. Its founder Francois Poirier was often shuffling back and forth from the Université du Québec’s École de technologie supérieure (ETS) to use its 3D printer for his business. Makerbloks created children’s blocks that inspire them to think, design and experiment.
Poirier and his team are currently in Minneapolis, Minnesota to participate in Techstars’ inaugural retail-focused accelerator cohort, at the head offices of Target.
After Poirier approached him, Bélair began considering how La Gare could offer 3D printing to both its members and the public at large.
“It’s going to be open to the community,” added Bélair. “We’re also working with the city of Montreal to bring kids from schools to see the 3D printer and what you can do with it. We want to give them an idea and an access to technology.”
La Gare, said Bélair, has mostly focused its energy on technology startups, but the group wants it to be more socially involved in “tech for good.” For Credo, adding a public fab lab offers people of all ages a chance to gain free access to exciting new technologies.
Credo also hosts an annual Startup Open House, in which over 100 local startups open their doors to the public. Another of its annual initiatives is the La tournée des entrepreneurs, in which Credo organizes for several Montreal entrepreneurs to visit leaders in regions in Quebec as far away as the Gaspe. Last year they went to Alma, Rimouski and Gatineau.