The Neons sur Creuse RuralLab is a new and very original form of French FabLab. Its instigator and flagship animator is an internet star of “casual hacking” (Angola Email List and hacking of everyday objects), Olivier Chambon , famous for his crazy DIY videos posted on the site “ La Grotte du Barbu ”. Visit to the first rural FabLab determined to create a society around Do It Yourself, technology and DIY.

When you arrive at the end of the main street of Néons sur Creuse, a small village of 400 souls, you can’t miss the building facing the public garden, with its glass doors covered with stickers that directly announce the color: discover, play , learn, manufacture, innovate. The town hall loaned this former communal café to the RuralLab association, created in July 2013. The band of merry men keen on repairing objects, technology and inventions of all kinds has therefore set up their “Rural FabLab” in this municipal space, under the leadership of Olivier Chambon, better known under the pseudonym of Babozor, from the website “la Grotte du Barbu”. The character is equal to the one who appears in the dozens of videos posted on the “casual hacking” site: debonair, sympathetic, funny but very very committed to what he does.

Friendly Space And Open Wi-fi

Babozor welcomes us accompanied by his loyal sidekick, Jason (aka Prototux), a young man passionate about electronics and IT. The central room of the RuralLab has a bar, three computers running Gnu / Linux connected to a printer and the net, a sofa with a games console, a large bookshelf and game boxes, end-to-end tables surrounded by chairs.

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But how does the place work? Here, in the central space, roughly speaking, the principle is that we have a meta-table, but we are going to build a real table. So, you work, you hack, and since there are a lot of different projects, the goal is for people to sit next to each other and discuss, explains Olivier.

In The Basement, The Cave-fablab

RuralLab 5The RuralLab is a FabLab: like any FabLab it cannot do without machines and a space for making objects. It is after having taken a spiral concrete staircase, that one emerges into a large cellar which serves both as a workshop and as a server room. There is the screen printing workshop to make t-shirts, posters, everything was homemade. There is also a plastic shredder project. Today there are either micro-grinders or industrial grinders, but nothing in between. We can, for example, put a printer box in it and collect plastic chips to do what we want with thenexplains Olivier Chambon.

The room is about fifteen meters long and crammed with both computer and mechanical equipment. Some devices do not look like anything known, and Babozor-Olivier Chambon has fun: We are in the process of forming a partnership with a local radio station, we have recovered an FM transmitter, and there, the cable cabinet is material recovered from France Inter . The cellar is being fitted out and if material is still missing, there are already several machines in place: electric saw, drill, computers, hammers, screwdrivers, in reality anything that can be used to make objects.

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