Japan is well know for its various exotic coffee shops targeting people who live busy lives and are often constrained from doing specific activities at home. An example would be the many ‘cat’ and/or ‘rabbit’ cafes that allow visitors to get their chosen animal stroking fix for the day (yes, really!). This is mainly because most Japanese apartments do not allow residents to have pets and the animal cafes provide a solution for animal lovers. The latest addition to this café solution phenomenon is the new FabCafe in the fashionable Shibuya district in Tokyo, which was originally set up alongside the FabLan Japan back in 2011.
This new cafe provides a space where people can enjoy making things with 3D printers and other digital fabrication tools, including a laser cutter. If you are new to the exiting world of 3D printing, the FabCafe offers you original products that can be purchased on location or via their online shop. The team at FabCafe is also running workshops to cover the latest developments in the maker community as well as some traditional topics related to handmade products.
The FabCafe team is planning to host events on their premises where artists and fellow makers can come and give a talk about particular field – or open up the venue for people to host an event themselves. Events are geared around providing opportunities for their customers to learn more about 3D printing technology and, in particular, how to make the all important gift items for their close friends and family. Alongside the opportunity to make your own creations the café offers a variety of the usual specialty coffees and delicacies.
Similar cafes have opened up in other countries as well, however the Japanese culture brings an additional element to the potential success of this type of service. This is a fascinating business model and provides a great opportunity in a relaxed setting to educate and familiarize customers and FabLabbers with the exiting world of 3D printing across many age groups — reminiscent of the Internet cafes of the 90s.
You can enjoy a brief introductory video of the Japanese FabCafe premises and services below.