New price list for 2018

4 minute read


note: this post is linked to this issue, feel at ease to contribute.


When I started Openfab, I wanted to be a place where everybody could access to the cool tools of the fablab. So at the beginning, I saw that people faced mostly 3 walls :

  • knowledge
    Through concept like Opensource, sharing is caring, open-mindedness and of course, internet. The fablab is the good place to be for learning new things. We are all teachers and students in this journey.
  • framework
    Coming in a fablab is like a playground for grownups, you can do almost anything but the catch is when you don’t know where to start, it could be very overwhelming.
  • price
    Before fablabs, tools like 3D printer and laser cutter was only for industry and specialized companies.

And there’s a last one, time
Today, It’s difficult to take the time to do all the things you want to do. But, hey, no can do nothing ‘bout that!

Since we are self-financed, the question was:
how much we could ask to pay without preventing or stopping people exploring things?
I tried different things and the last try was simply asking something progressive from 10€/h for personal project to 34€/h when it’s for commercial use.

Indirectly, I was hoping more people will come and do stuff, then understand that they need to care together of the place because it’s a fablab and we do it together. Hum, I was way to much optimist and green in this business side.


  • Having access to a place, to machines, tools, computers and shit… even based on opensource design, recup’ and DIY kits, all of these have a cost and need caring.
  • People are really happy to use laser cutter for only 10€/h but even they don’t want to do wrong or anything, they still feel it’s like a service and since they pay, they assume is all-inclusive and all should be take cared of.
  • If not much money, I proposed a way to earn credits by helping me on common tasks. 1 credit = 1€ so you could pay for machine time. People are nice but they have their own shit to care. Of course.

So at the end of the day, it’s still easier to pay than to help (because)


I have looked at others fablabs and shops prices and I will go for 40€/h for everybody, One price to rule them all… :)

But I want to find to real, right and concrete price about this machine (lasersaur), how it cost to build, how it cost to repair, how it cost if we need to replace the tube, how cost the people who do the maintenance?
So, it’ll become clear to all how much is the brut cost to have and use a laser cutter, without any shenanigans to help reduce the price like subsidies or else.
Then, from that, how can we be creative and find out some other ways to pay for it.

for example, with the gamification.

  • If you need the laser for a 1h job, it will cost 40€, simple.
  • Else you don’t have the dough then, as a superUser it’s possible to take care of some tasks and earn credits. With 40crrr you’ll be able to pay for 1h of laser cutter.
    You can barter credits with other superUsers for helps on their project, and exchange credits as reward.


Of course, it’s more expensive.
Of course, it’s take time to learn, gain XP and will cost more at the beginning.
But it give a real meaning and value to the knowledge and experience you gain. In turn, you’ll became aware about the extended potentialities and of course, the need to care for the tools.

And as a rewards, you’ll be able to work better and faster with this machine. (= less time, less costs and possibly more incoming dough too)

And more than all these together, you’ll feel so proud of yourself!


Bonus: Did I mention there is even a badge for showing of?


note: this post is linked to this issue, feel at ease to contribute.