Technology in Motion

FabBus is FabLab on Wheels with Twelve 3D Printers


The fablab concept goes mobile with FabBus, a renovated Berlin city bus with twelve 3D printers and eight CAD workstations on board.

An old Berlin city bus is given a second lease of life as the FabBus, a mobile 3D printing makerspace. To educate the public about the wonders of 3D printing, this mobile fablab features a suite of twelve 3D printers and eight 3D modeling workstations.

The FabBus can be rented out and then parked at either businesses, colleges or schools, so that anyone and everyone can experience first-hand how 3D printing works.

The aim is to give employees and students an impression of additive manufacturing technology, but without the need to invest huge piles of cash upfront.

The FabBus is an initiative of the Aachen Center for 3D printing, a partnership between the Aachen University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT.


The Story of the FabBus

The bus itself was once an ordinary Berlin city bus with a top speed of 70km/h. Before it was bought and renovated by the Aachen Center, it had clocked up an incredible 1.2 million kilometers of service.

To create the FabBus, staff completely gutted the vehicle, giving it both mechanical upgrades and a brand new interior.

Now, the downstairs of the bus holds a bar, lounge and library of reference books about CAD and 3D printing, as well as a Stratasys Objet 24 3D printer.

Upstairs, you can find the CAD workstations, installed with Autodesk Inventor and Fusion software, together with a fleet of Makerbot 3D printers.

The bus was first unveiled to the public at Rapid.Tech 2015, a 3D printing trade show in Erurt, Germany. It will return this year for the same show running 14-16 JuneIf you’re interested in taking a tour, the bus will be located at the edge of Hall 2 by FabCon 3.D Forum.