Polytechnique Orléans is an engineering school that offers several courses combining specialized teaching and practical work, supervised by experienced teachers and qualified professionals. Polytech provides a Fablab for its students, teachers and external contributors. They have chosen to adopt Fab Manager.

How has Fab Manager impacted the faculty and students of this school? How did they introduce it in their Fablab? And for what purpose?

To find out more, we interviewed Clarisse Novello, head of the academic Fablab at Polytech Orléans.

Photo credit : Le Fablab Orléanais

Photo credit: Le Fablab Orléanais

Hi, can you tell us about the fablab of your engineering school?

It is a public structure that provides machines and tools for all types of public that is to say students, school, individuals, companies, associations ... It exists since 2019. It organizes workshops of discovery and initiation to learn to make oneself with the machine. The team assists and guides the user until the realization of the project through training or by teachers and students of Polytech Orleans.

Polytech Orléans is one of the schools using Fab Manager. Why did you make this choice?

First, we didn't have the time to develop an interface. Secondly, my counterparts were using it and I found this platform practical and well adapted to our needs. We can customize and set up according to our operating modes. It also allows us to connect with other makers' organizations through the project gallery. Last but not least, it respects our privacy and data protection policy.

How did the implementation of Fab Manager in your school go?

As I just mentioned, privacy is very important and it took 1 month to verify compliance. Then I took 2 weeks to set up the prices, the schedules, the machines... Finally, the modification of the link on our website and the communication supports.

Did the faculty and students quickly adopt it?

The new users have adopted it very quickly because they are more autonomous. The older users are a little less willing to play the game. They come at the last moment to book on the spot. But when the place is taken, they realize that the platform is useful. It is very practical for individuals. They are external users, so having visibility on the availability of machines allows them to organize themselves.

In what contexts do you use Fab Manager on a daily basis?

For the moment, we use it for individual work, i.e. machine reservations. And if there are group meetings, I block the slots.

What is the benefit of using Fab Manager at Polytech Orléans?

I don't have enough experience because we have been using it for 4 months and I haven't used all the features yet. I saw that we could embed a video or a document associated with a machine or a space. And I want to integrate video tutorials. The health context did not allow us to do events. Fab Manager could be a strong point to organize them.

What do you think is the real strength of Fab Manager?

We can adapt it to our way of working.

Would you recommend this tool to other universities and colleges? Why?

I would recommend it to other schools to standardize.