A Canal Runs Through It
Come on in!
(Video Tour)


Take your project from idea to concept. Work with your team and ours to set the specification for your project and bring it to life in the computer or on paper.


Pretty drawings are nice, but what you really want is the real thing. At FabLab.blue, you can make just about anything using the tools and techniques of digital fabrication. Come learn the skills, use the tools and make your design a reality.


The FabLab.blue is all about enabling the SpoyLand community to effect the changes that we need to develop the local economy while conserving and restoring the local ecosystem.

What is a FabLab?

A FabLab (Fabrication Laboratory) is an open space equipped with a standard set of machines, equipment and materials, where people from all walks of life can come together with experts to share ideas, then design and make just about anything. The FabCommunity is an international network of more than 400 workshops that all share ideas and experience in digital fabrication. Each of the labs has its own focus - here at FabLab.blue ours is on the Spoy Canal and all that surrounds it.

Read the FabCharter


At the core of FabLab.blue is the concept of the Biological Transformation. Along with partners in biomimetics, we are pushing the biologification of industry, promoting a culture of research, development and manufacturing which is sustainable and in tune with the natural environment. Our work maps nicely onto four of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, using research and education tools to empower communities to make the long-term changes that are crucial to maintaining and restoring the healthy function of ecosystems at sea and ashore.

Quality Education

through Experential Learning

Sustainable Cities

and Communities

Life Below Water

Science at Sea

Life on Land

and in Fresh Water


The FabLab.blue is spread across the Cleves
campus and throughout the Spoy basin.

Design & Manufacturing Shops

Research Laboratories

Greenhouse & Living Labs


FabLab.blue is a collection of workshops, each specialised around a set of tasks.


Plywood to Plastic


Burning through Material

3D Printers

A farm of extrusion machines


PCBs, Solder and Bits

Moulding & Casting

Precision Parts and Soft Robotics


Cutting and Stitching


Traditional and CNC

Living Lab

FabLab.blue is about the water. And through the water we're about life. Throughout the Spoy basin.

Tropical Greenhouse

The Spoy Canal & Kermisdahl



Some of the projects currently going on at FabLab.blue.

Centrifugal Caster

Investment casting with a twist


midsize FDM 3D printer


Laser-based Water Vapour Determination

Floating Gardens

Ecologically improving water quality

3D Metal

Additive manufacture with a CNC welder

Weather Station

Monitoring weather conditions in the Streuobstwiese


Small format CNC machine for aluminum milling


Human-powered Racing Submarine


Engineering and Natural Sciences Projects for Industrially Relevant Experience.

Robot Gardener


Town and Gown at FabLab.blue

Homecoming Cup

A unique sporting event for a unique campus community

HSRW Maypole

Uni History on a Carved Pole

Schwanenritter Race

Plywood Cup with Niederrhein Tradition


University Students

Project based learning in the lab and classroom.

MINT and Schools

Teaching the Next Generation

Professional Development

Introducing the Biological Transformation to Industry


A brief history of the FabLab.blue

  • 2012-2015

    Our Humble Beginnings

    The University opened its Cleves campus in 2012. The focus was always on practical education and team skills. As the first professors began to set up their labs, they started recruiting student teams to participate in international competitions. The beer brewing team was the first to achieve intercollegiate success in Germany, and soon after that, the HSRW Submarine Team broke onto the scene internationally.

  • March 2015

    ENSPIRE is Born

    Building on the early cross-faculty successes of the submarine team, the students started creating new teams focused on electric racing cars, robotic ships, biomechanics, robot gardening and finally, a new project to focus on monitoring and cleaning up the Spoy Canal. The teams needed space and technical support, and so ENSPIRE was born. One of the student teams that came out of ENSPIRE the M-Team, all about making machines to support the other teams. That seed found fertile ground and good water!

  • 2018-2021

    Transitioning to FabLab

    The University is home already to two other FabLabs at its campus in Kamp-Lintfort. We've long been thinking that we'd like to duplicate the success in Cleves as well. The journey is a long one, but thanks to the amazing support of the Uni's other FabLabs, we've been making good progress getting the team assembled and trained, lining up the machines and identifying the space, and now finally we've got a bit of funding to get us to the starting line.

  • Summer 2021

    Officially FabLab.blue

    Our application was formally approved by the reviewers and we've been listed as an official FabLab at FabLabs.io! We're now part of a network of over 2000 FabLabs worldwide. We're looking forward now to working with the worldwide community and especially with the other HSRW FabLabs to get our space organised, processes set, and doors open to the public. There is still lots to do, but step by step we'll get there!

  • Summer 2022

    Our first FabDaughter!

    In collaboration with the Ho Technical University in Ghana, we created the first FabLab 2.0. Three of the five key machines for FabLab HTU were designed and built at FabLab.blue, then shipped to Ghana in spring 2022. Our team went to Ho in summer 2022 to set up the lab and train the HTU team for the official opening in July 2022.

  • Be Part
    Of Our

The Team

William Megill

FabLab Director

Florian Wichern

LivingLab Director

Frank Platte

Research Director

Matthias Kleinke

WetLab Director

Rolf Becker

DroneLab Director

Jens Gebauer

Greenhouse Director

Lily Chambers

BioSoftLab Director

Dirk Reiser

Sustainability Director

Roland Grichnik

FabLab Research Officer

Aaron Hinkle

Metal Workshop Supervisor

Fabio Biffo

3D Printshop Supervisor

Lysander Trapp

Wood Workshop Supervisor

Marcello Tania

FabAcademy Instructor

Sophia Doering

Laser Cutting Supervisor