The UK’s first Fab Lab opened in Manchester on Tuesday 23 March, bringing innovation to the people in a hi-tech community mini-factory. Fab Labs give everyone, from young children through to entrepreneurs and businesses, the capability to bring their ideas and inventions to life.FabLab founder Professor Neil Gershenfeld, Director of the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT, said: “Fab Labs give people the tools they need to create technology, to be creative and make the stuff that they can’t buy in the shops.” The Manchester Fab Lab is free to non-commercial users. Businesses and inventors can opt to protect their product development ideas by paying to use the service. It will reverse the top down approach to technological advancement by empowering everyone to invent. ‘Fab Labbers’ can use advanced digital and manufacturing technology to make products out of wood, acrylic, composite moulds, silicon, cardboard, sheet aluminium, plastics, copper foil and vinyl. There are waxing, chemical moulding, milling and routing, laser cutting, electronics, textiles, embroidery, vinyl cutting and 3D scanning and printing facilities.