Christoph Fahle
April 27, 2012

A Fab Café - Let's Do This!

Last week we got to know about the Tokyo based FabCafe throughout Weaving Cats Travel Log Blogpost over here. Michelle also wrote about it since she was there with Peter.

Last week we got to know about the Tokyo based FabCafe throughout Weaving Cats Travel Log Blogpost over here. Michelle also wrote about it since she was there with Peter.

What strikes me about this place is it’s welcoming atmosphere and casual introduction to fabbing. It’s in the heart of one of the busiest neighborhoods in Tokyo, and Chiaki says they get a lot of walk-ins who discover a nice-looking cafe, have a coffee, and then get curious about the laser cutter.

This week this came along on Twitter:

Followed by this Blogpost explaining the story behind and how difficult it is to get access to  rapid prototyping equipment in HighTech City Berlin whilst it is no longer a question of big money oder low demand.

Well, that is what we want. Let's do this. It seems the right time. Now let's have a look at how this can be done. a) Let's have a look at what we already have, b) what we are still in need of and c) where this could lead to.

  • What we do have: 
  • We have got the space. We have got Open Design City and the betahaus Café.
  • Opening Hours are Mo - Fri 8 am - 8 pm, enough time to fab.
  • We have got Staff operating the bar, opening the space, administering keys, supplies and taking care of payments and organizational needs
  • We have got a limited number of tools in the back
  • We even host the 3D Printer (Makerbot) of an honored citizen of Open Design City
  • What we are (probably) still in need of
  • We'd need a properly set up 3D Printing Station that can be moved around and fits into ODC and the Café and it should be very accessible
  • We need somebody being able to operate it on standby or it should very very easy to operate it yourself.
  • We need a Project Owner who is moving things forward until things run smoothly. This is a Project!
  • One might want have a Lasercutter as well. But maybe this goes to the future section. We have to start somewhere.
  • This could lead to
  • A real Fab Café in Berlin
  • Better and bigger Machines later on
  • More Workshops, DIY stuff.
  • Revitalization of ODC

Berlin, what do you think of this?

Click here for more announcements and events at the 'haus! 

Cost is a big one here. In regards to total transportation costs, the last mile comprises up to 53% of those - making it the least efficient part of the supply chain. Expectations of free shipping and next day deliveries add up to this.

Due to increasing digitalization and convenience services in every area of people's lives, the smooth and flawless process of getting the delivery to one's doorstep is exceedingly becoming what customers care most about. On top of that, for companies that package being delivered is an extension of their brand. The consumer is basically coming face-to-face with the brand, which makes it the biggest opportunity to heighten customer satisfaction.


If you live in a city and have even slightly observed your urban surroundings you’ve probably witnessed it first hand - urban congestion and crowded cities make it pretty tough to satisfy the growing demand and rising expectations of super quick deliveries. Add unpredictability in transit (like weather conditions), an incorrect address or remote locations, just to name a few, and you can see where this is going.

The worst part is, all those delivery trucks and vans that also produce a fair bit of emissions, are often only half full when they roll out for deliveries. This is mostly due to low drop sizes and stops along the route that are far and few between.

It’s not all hopeless though - Where there is a problem, there are solutions.


Same old, same old - isn’t always all that bad. Sometimes, all that’s needed are some new perspectives! The city of Utrecht, for‌ ‌example, implemented a zero-emissions electric barge nicknamed the “Beer Boat”. 

Since 2010 it’s carrying beer and food to the city’s downtown restaurants by using waterways. Other electric barges in Amsterdam not only deliver but even collect organic waste, which is then turned into biofuel in processing plants! Isn’t that cool?

It becomes clear that cities, logistics, as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌urban‌ ‌planners, are equally part of solving the inefficiency of the last-mile. Tackling this mountain of issues calls for teamwork!


A centralized platform, hub or network for similar companies, could do the trick to fill up the delivery vans & trucks that are barely loaded. Parcels could be distributed more efficiently between different companies and their delivery vehicles.

Like a big pool of parcels from different companies with every single parcel going into that one van with the same route!


Delivery Driver Experience and Smart Delivery Vehicles are also areas with huge potential for improvement and innovation.


Ellie: Two years ago we adopted a new legal structure for Jolocom GmbH according to the purpose model of ownership, manifesting our commitment and dedication to building a self-sovereign organization. That means we can’t take VC funding or sell public shares of the company. 

Volker: Jolocom is a community driven organisation – both in a tech sense but also much further beyond. We’re hugely involved in the DWeb community where we organize and attend events for the decentralized community. Every year we also help organize and attend the DWeb Camp in San Francisco, which brings together all kinds of creatives so this technology of tomorrow is built in a collaborative way.


Next to that on-demand experiences have become firmly embedded into people’s everyday lives - be it a mobile app to book a ride, send flowers to your loved ones or order lunch to your office. It’s all possible and has made premium features like real-time tracking a standard.  The online consumer expects nothing less and certainly doesn’t like to wait.


Making that quick and instant gratification happen is another story though. Groundbreaking ideas and innovations are needed to tackle all these factors. Does your startup have one? 

Then head over to our Future Logistics Challenge! Applications are still open until September 23rd.

Volker: There is this really nice place, called Green Rabbit with salads and baked potatoes where I like to go to. Sometimes I just keep it simple and go to Lidl.

Ellie: I eat a lot in west.berlin cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.

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