From Now On: Lab Opening for Members of The University of Siegen Every Wednesday

Dear Community,

Good news for some of you: from now on we will extend our Studi-Lab to all university members. Anyone who works or studies at the University of Siegen is allowed to come to us on Wednesdays from 10 am to 4 pm and work independently on their projects, provided they observe the appropriate hygiene conditions.

As everyone who wants to work in our lab needs a safety briefing, we offer these safety briefings every Wednesday at 10 am (usually they last about 90 minutes). An registration for these safety instructions is required.

Details about registration and some answers to possible questions can be found at our opening hours.

If you want to stay up to date, you can subscribe to our Telegram news channel or our mailing list.

The Pool Bottom Suction Robot Wheel

Anyone who has ever been to an outdoor pool knows how important it is to clean pools thoroughly. In the past, people might have been sent down there with a rag, but nowadays this is done by pelvic floor vacuums, small waterproof robots made of plastic and electronics that move back and forth tirelessly on the floor after closing time. The open-air swimming pool in Kaan-Marienborn has just such a machine, and one of its wheels was broken.

Lab manager Marios, Ms. Königsberg and Mr. Wagner from the city of Siegen, mayor Steffen Mues, operations manager Dirk Räwel and Jonas from Fab Lab, who built the wheel. Picture: City of Siegen

So we received an inquiry from the city’s sports and pools department asking if we could print something. The original manufacturer was no longer available and a new device would probably have blown the already tight corona budget. So Jonas and Marios took care of rebuilding the old wheel, first digitally and then printing it out in durable ABS. The mayor was also there and saw for himself that everything works – the application possibilities of Fab Lab Siegen are well received. So now spare wheels are no longer a problem and the robot is looking so confidently ahead, it has even taken on a part-time job at the indoor swimming pool at Löhrtor!

Press echo

10.07.2020 – wirSiegen
Outdoor pools: replacement wheel for pool cleaner comes from 3D printer

13.07.2020 – Westfälische Rundschau
Siegen: Wheel for outdoor pool vacuum cleaner from 3D printer With New Splendor

In the last few weeks we have not only been fighting the Covid 19 pandemic with face visors from the Lab, but in parallel we have also tinkered a new website for you and the Lab. You are bathing your hands in it right now! Have fun clicking/touching and feel free to give feedback via the known channels or to .

For the impatient: At the very end of this post you will find an overview of what is new and what is still to come. For the others, here’s a short story about what we were thinking and what’s involved in such a website relaunch.

The following is a description of our “development process”. Not much was programmed, but it was put together. And that also wants to be done!

The Development Process

First of all, we had a workshop a few weeks ago to find out in which direction the new website should point. Everything we wanted to have on the new website and who we want to reach with it and how. To do this, we asked ourselves the following questions:

  • What information do we want on the website?
  • Who do we want to reach?
  • What could the website look like?
  • How do we want to file the information?
Steamed workshop mindmap

The result is a website based on the blog software WordPress. This seemed to make the most sense to us in terms of functionality and extensibility with plugins. Using WordPress wasn’t new territory for some of the team either, and we had about an idea of what we could accomplish with WordPress. Our requirements were met:

  • Software that is regularly updated so that everything is as secure as possible.
  • Automated display of events in the Lab
  • Image galleries to present the lab also virtually
  • Automated viewing of research results (A list of publications that have been produced as part of the Lab).
  • Easy contact
  • Easy editing of the content by the Lab team
  • Writing of contributions, for example project reports by the community
  • The social component: Visitors should be able to comment on posts and easily get in touch with us
  • Multilingualism
  • Data protection compliance

Team Coordination During These Times

First of all, we started to form a team to build up the website piece by piece. We transferred existing content to the new website, created a menu structure and designed the homepage.


We organized ourselves in a Kanban board (there are many online solutions, take the one that suits you best). We met online audio-visually every day when things got hot, due to corona, and exchanged information about the current tasks. From time to time, a split screen was also used. It has been shown that it is a good idea to make the Kanban board visible to everyone by means of a split screen, so that everyone also knows which task card or ticket is currently being discussed. The cards documented the current developments within a task and stored images or documents. Thus, a documentation of the development was created at the same time.

The 80/20-20/80-Syndrom

As was to be expected, the 80/20 rule also struck us, which one or the other is surely familiar with. 80 percent of the work is done in 20 percent of the time. The last 20 percent then take 80 percent of the time. When you think you’ve got it, that’s when it really starts.

The contents were transferred relatively quickly. But then it was on to finding plugins for calendar integration, image galleries, and privacy compliance, as well as checking content for currency and expanding it. And everything has to be put together somehow, so that the page structure makes sense to visitors and information can be found easily. Where do you write the opening hours everywhere so that everyone can find them?

“But they’re already on the menu under opening hours, aren’t they?!”

Yes, but…. sometimes that’s not enough. So we have made an effort to sort the information as it seemed to make sense to us. We have already done a few user tests, but we are also a bit dependent on your help. Write us, talk to us, tell us if you can’t find something or if something bothers you. That helps enormously! ->

The current version offers little that is new, at least apparently. So you could also say: old wine in new wineskins.

With Sauce and Spicy (That’s New!)

But wait, we also have news!

  1. We now have an overview of the events in the Lab (getting fancier)
  2. Students can get an overview of which courses we offer
  3. We have a separate area for press representatives (still being expanded)
  4. There is a better overview of current and past research projects in the Lab (to scientific publications go here)
  5. The area of occupational safety was revised
  6. There is an overview of the machines and technologies that we can offer as a lab
  7. A subscribable calendar

And What Does The Future Hold?

We have a few more features in mind that will follow in the next few weeks:

  1. An English version of the site – because we have more and more international guests and cooperation partners who depend on it
  2. Possibility for the community to write contributions themselves
  3. Nicer presentation of the dates/events
  4. A press kit for media representatives
  5. An overview of completed theses by students

And many little things are also still on our agenda. Stay tuned and have fun!

Face Visors Against The Virus

After the closure is before the start of production. After all, we, like many other public institutions, had to cease our operations on March 16. Now there were a dozen 3D printers standing around unused. MakerVsVirus and other ideas and projects that developed online in the following days invited us to do something against the virus.

Well, to make a long story short, we are now producing facial visors to reduce the risk of infection to medical personnel and other at-risk groups(the hip girls and guys also call them covid shields). The visors are given free of charge to medical facilities.

Our dear colleagues from the press office have also enriched the whole story with a little more detail and written it down here: Fab Lab of the University of Siegen prints face visors.

What Can I Do?

We can use donations of materials and assistance in making them!

Concrete we are searching for:

  • PETG-Filament 1,75mm
  • PETG-plates 0.5mm, transparent and clear
  • Elastic head hole rubber bands
  • Companies and individuals who have free 3D printing capacity themselves

Feel free to contact Peter Kubior:

Help, I Am a Medical Facility and I Need Visors!

Medical facilities interested in the facial visors can contact Peter Kubior by email:

I Am from The Press and Want to Know More!

Please contact our press office directly for further questions.

Stay healthy. #physicaldistancing not #socialdistancing
Your Lab-Team!


“Garbage – Environment – Design” – With Art Against Littering

As part of the cooperation project “Garbage – Environment – Design“, Sarah and Marios, two of our students, travelled to Palestine last year in September. The two-week project, organised by the Goethe-Institut in Ramallah, was intended to counteract the throwaway culture in public spaces from Europe that prevails there and to build a bridge between consumption and art. For this purpose, approaches of “upcycling” should be used, which make something new out of something old.

Two students each from Germany, France and Palestine were involved in the intercultural project and designed the exhibition and built matching exhibits in a workshop. During the ten-day stay on site, prototypes were to be produced collaboratively from everyday objects through upcycling in order to draw attention to everyday environmental problems. The project benefited from the input of other Palestinian and international experts from the fields of design, art, education and architecture.

The material such as pallets, Yton stones and plastic bottles were picked up directly from the street and were only a part of the countless resources used.
An example of the effective use of materials are the hanging gardens consisting of two green bottle walls planted with mint, which were set up to welcome exhibition visitors at the main entrance of the Goethe Institute. The results were exhibited in the Franco-German cultural area for intercultural discussion and experimentation.

In addition, during the students’ visit to Palestine, the action day “Art and Consumption” took place, in which the residents were to actively and collectively clear a piece of land of rubbish and litter.

The aim of the project was to communicate civil rights, but above all civic duties, and to mobilise local young people in particular to take on civic responsibility. Among others, the project was carried out in cooperation with Vecbox, the first Palestinian Makerspace, who brought local expertise.

Sarah and Marios were already able to draw on experience gained in the West Bank through the Yallah cooperation and exchange project in April last year, as well as through the come_IN project.

Project: 3D Copy Shop A Wooden Codel Was Created from a Plaster Face Cast

A Contribution from Eri

  • A photo series was created from a plaster face mask.
  • A point cloud from the photo series was created with Linux/Colmap.
  • The points were cleaned up and processed with Meshlab
  • The milling paths were generated with Pycam.
  • The toolpath files were created with a tool developed in-house.

simplified so that the GCode can be run with the Fablab CNC software as well as NCcad.

  • The workpiece: a 1 1⁄2 year old, dried piece of end-grain wood, pre-drilled for “spaxing” onto the sacrificial plate.
  • Cutter: 6 mm cylinder for “roughing” and 6 mm spherical head for “finishing”.

About The Manufacturing Process

The feed rate for milling could be increased significantly. The cutter length was not sufficiently taken into account during the creation. This is how the saying of the day came about: “One more delivery is possible”. Before any collisions occurred, it was stopped. After remodelling and x-times finishing (Proxxon), the following emerged:


This project was kindly supported by the University of Siegen. Many thanks for this, especially to Daniel for his collaboration and Helga for text drafting and layout.

Only a very slow Linux notebook (Ubu 19.04) is available on site. (possibly faster with SSD or cloud computing ??)
Network access for updates planned.
Friday afternoons are aggravating and not so well suited for such projects with public traffic and the limited time of the staff.
Other spax screws are missing or have not been found.
The cutter selection is limited.
Unsolved : Chatter marks.

Thursday 13.2, 7 pm: Lecture “FabLab Maya – Can Technology Help Preserve Traditions?”

On Thursday (13 February) Christian will give a talk about Fab Lab Maya at 7pm. Christian visited Fab Lab Maya in the Mexican jungle and would like to tell us about it. There they try to support the local population and traditions with modern technologies.
The title of the lecture is “FabLab Maya – Can technology help to preserve traditions?


  • Admission is free!
  • When: Thursday, 13 February 2020
  • Start: 7 pm
  • Where: Fab Lab, Herrengarten 2, 57072 Siegen

The Lab is now also open on Wednesdays and Saturdays

We can now offer you new opening hours for the Lab! Friday remains in place. We are also open on Wednesdays and Saturdays. We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you of our safety briefings twice a month and our plenary once a month. The 3D Printing Happy Hour merges into the Wednesday appointment and no longer exists in its own right.

The opening hours are valid until we move out of the Herrengarten.

New Opening Hours

  • Wednesdays: 13:00 – 17:00
  • Fridays: 14:00 – 20:00
  • Saturdays: 12:00 – 18:00

At these times, work can be done freely in the Fab Lab. All interested parties are welcome to attend. We are looking forward to your visit! If you want to work in the Fab Lab, you must have taken part in an appropriate safety course beforehand.

Important: We may have to cancel opening hours from time to time due to other events or teaching at the Lab. But then we’ll announce it beforehand! So before you go to the Lab, check here on this page to see if it’s really open.

Safety Instructions

Safety instructions are held at 4 p.m. every first and third Thursday of the month. Registration is not necessary. Read more here.


On the last Thursday of the month we have our plenary for everyone at 5pm. More Information here.
Just come by.

Happy Making,
your Fab-Lab-Team

Visit from Mascat (Oman) to Fab Lab Siegen

On 22 November, we had a visit from a delegation from the German University of Technology (GUTech) in Mascat, Oman with 20 mostly female students of technical disciplines and two teachers.

The delegation was interested in the concept, implementation and benefits of Fab Labs at universities, as we are pursuing in Siegen.
Prof. Dr. Volkmar Pipek, Director of the Fab Lab on this:

“We are very interested in sharing our experiences in setting up and running a Fab Lab and networking with Fab Labs worldwide.”

As you may have noticed, we have several international partnerships, such as the YALLAH exchange with universities in Palestine and Gaza, the Global Innovation Gathering network and Greece Communitere.

Prof. Pipek also emphasised again how important a lab is for exchange, the acquisition of knowledge and also for intercultural understanding. Prof. Pipek continues:

“In addition to implementing vocational qualification pathways, Fab Labs also serve as learning sites for technical skills for the population and can thus make an important contribution to democratising technical knowledge in all countries and cultures.”

There are more than 1700 Fab Labs worldwide. Discussions are currently taking place to support the establishment of a Fab Lab at GUTech in Mascat by the University of Siegen.

Not Bad for Friday The Thirteenth

A contribution by Ingo Schultze-Schnabel

On the evening of that December day in 2019, I held in my hand the first copy of a 3D print of one of my designs.

Finished print still on the 3D printer

I have been working artistically with multipart images and objects since the 90s and was looking for a method to transform a design into a sculptural object from the 3D printer.

Members of Fab Lab Siegen accompanied me in several steps: From the basic information about the Fab Lab and its possibilities, the ways of designing from “my” graphics programme via CAD programmes to the printer control, a lot was new for me. But in the great working atmosphere it was fun to get involved with new things.

Now the new object hangs provisionally on the wall, for “test viewing”, so to speak. I am concerned with the mechanisms by which our perception “sees” something as a whole with the help of partial information. The quality of visual information, redundancy, the “information gap” – such terms run through my head.

3D print hung on the wall

Here in the work you can see how, despite the distances between the stripes, the impression quickly arises in many places that rectangles, seen in perspective, are being depicted there. The gap suddenly becomes information. With David Amend at the end of the day, I got to talk about how the exact same thing is happening with fake news, an area in which he had experience from a computer science perspective. This is how fragments become a narrative and how easily “truth” emerges in our minds. That brings me back to my artistic theme.

If you want to go a little deeper, you can find more material on my blog.

If you want to experience more art in Siegen, please refer to the ChaosFlux from 24-26 April. Mehr Infos: