Facilitate artisans access to DiDIY

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The problem is…

Many artisans could be more productive, create new kinds of unique artifacts, on demand or not, or simply stay in business, if they could rent for their work, only when they need them, the machines of a fablab or makerspace. However, local laws or regulations in many places prohibit the fablab/makerspace owners to offer such services to artisans and other professionals, who use them in their for-profit activity.

The proposed solution might apply when

The use of DiDIY machines (3D printers, CNC mills, laser cutters, etc..) to automatically manufacture (very) small quantities of certain parts of her products may be the only way for an artisan to make those products economically viable, and therefore to stay in business.

The solution proposed is…

Define conditions under which it would be legal for artisans to rent space and machines in a fablab to perform part of their for-profit activities there (or to send their employees to do the same)

The expected outcome is…

More possibilities for artisans to create unique products, or small batches of products, that is more possibilities both for artisans to keep their existing activity running, or start new businesses. Another expected outcome is more possibilities for fablabs and makerspace to be economically viable, by widening their "customer base".

Other information

Rationale

For-profit coworking spaces, that rent desks, internet access and other infrastructures to freelancers, are becoming more and more popular. In their corrent form, however, they are almost always limited to office workers, not to artisans who need digital manufacturing services for their for-profit work.

If artisans had the same opportunities as "office" freelancers, that is the possibility to legally work, at least part time, in "shared digital manufacturing" centres, they would have more business opportunities. At the same time, work of this kind, that today may be done "in black" in certain fablabs, may emerge, and thus widen the tax base.

Significant influencing factors

Regulations and laws that require artisans to work always and only in a dedicated, fully certified space of which they are the only responsible maintainers, severely limit the possibilities described above

Evidence/Examples

Related Patterns

Links to further resources

Authors and Credits

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