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The open workshop at HSU: Think it! Make it!

The open workshop in Hamburg-Jenfeld

The Laboratory of Production Engineering (LaFT) has been supporting research and teaching with its own Open Lab at Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg since December 2016. Dr.-Ing. Tobias Redlich and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jens P. Wulfsberg manage the OpenLab under the motto “Think it! Make it!” and enable students from all disciplines to experience and explore newer technological developments and open source hardware.

In addition, the OpenLab provides the population with low-threshold access to production technologies, and its competent contact persons provide advice and support.

The Open Labs concept is being implemented and further explored in current research projects.

  1. In the project Fab City, the Open Lab approach is embedded in the global Fab City Initiative. The Fab City initiative actively promotes the development of locally producing and globally networked cities.
  2. Knowledge and technology exchange based on open source technologies in Open Labs is also being implemented in Tunisia and researched in greater depth together with Tunisian partner institutions: on the one hand, in the pilot project PISWI funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and, on the other hand, in the project Digital4jobs funded by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).

First results

Previous surveys at the Laboratory of Production Engineering have shown that Open Labs have a significant impact on factors that stimulate innovation. Open Labs aim to strengthen local value creation in developing countries by providing and communicating knowledge, skills, and necessary technical resources.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the OpenLab team has created new opportunities to familiarize citizens with 3D printing despite social distancing. In online workshops, it was possible to learn the basics and realize in-depth projects. In addition, employees of the Manufacturing Technology Laboratory have made an important contribution to containing the pandemic.

The employees applied their research skills in the field of open hybrid production and used the example of medical protective equipment to show how the production of FaceShields can be implemented in OpenLab Hamburg within a few days based on further developed open source designs (see photo).


Oladele-Emmanuel, B.D.: Measuring and Managing User Innovation in Emerging Economies: Case Study of South West Nigeria, Dissertation, Helmut Schmidt University, 2020.

Buxbaum-Conradi, S. und Basmer-Birkenfeld, S.V.; Redlich, T.: OPEN LABs: Erfahrungsbasiertes, vernetztes Lernen in offenen Produktionswerkst├Ątten. Themenheft Lernen unter dem Aspekt der Vernetzung, Lernen&Lehren 135 (4/2019)

Are you interested in an exchange on Open Labs, digital manufacturing technologies, user innovation or related topics? Then please feel free to contact us.


Dipl.-Ing. Ibrahim Barmaksiz