Our History



The year is 2010 ... a new professor joins the Department of Computer Science at Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences. His first task: to buy a 3D printer, laser cutter and a circuit board milling machine and hire an industrial designer.

The question of the environment: Will this gimmick with the 3D printers ever catch on? ... and that's how it often is with disruptive innovations, the first developments are ridiculed and soon other technologies are displaced by new innovations.


The year the HRW FabLab opened: Oops, another global movement missed. In 2012, Michael Schäfer, the founder of the FabLab and Professor of Computer Engineering at HRW, realized that there was an international movement to build something exactly like the lab founded in 2012. One week later, the HRW FabLab was founded and officially part of the worldwide movement of 113 FabLabs.


A new university building is built, the FabLab moves to 117 square meters. The leap from 30 m² to 117 m² opens up completely new possibilities. With up to 60 events per year, the HRW FabLab becomes one of the most exciting and lively places within the university.

2015 – Fab11 at MIT

The HRW FabLab networks internationally, runs the Fab Academy with MIT as a 3D competence center and is represented by five people at MIT in Boston at Fab11. The first diplomas are awarded.


The HRW FabLab has found its new home at Prosper III, the new innovative center we helped design. 600 square meters, which are immediately too small, form the basis for being one of the most attractive FabLabs of the now 2500 FabLabs worldwide.

We look forward to welcoming many new guests!