From CIC

Our third location in St. Louis is open!

One month ago,

clients moved into our third St. Louis location. We're excited to be able to support even more amazing thinkers and entrepreneurs in our brand new, beautiful space. Let's celebrate our one month anniversary by re-living 4220's incredible open house!

Haven't made it out to the new space yet? Come out and see us! Click below to set up a visit.

Schedule a tour!

Making it Personal: What is CIC's Responsibility for Advancing Social Equity?

 Making it Personal: What is CIC's Responsibility for Advancing Social Equity?

St. Louis is a city with a complex history. CIC knew some of that history when we began establishing the company’s first expansion location, but as our space opened on the heels of the unrest in Ferguson, we were forced to examine both our understanding of that history, and our place in St. Louis’ future.

At the end of last year, CIC St. Louis worked with the Diversity Awareness Partnership to assess our spaces, find out how our community was feeling, and discover whether there were changes we could make to build a more inclusive and welcoming environment. It was a great exercise that gave us our first real data on the diversity and inclusivity of our internal community.

The Third Industrial Revolution is Here — At Fab@CIC.

Drop in for a hot coffee or a pastry at Render Coffee, and the whirr of the espresso machine won’t be the only buzz you hear. You’ll likely also see and hear a digital fabricator or two laser-cutting a rough, miniature prototype for a new chair, building a dental model for a custom oral retainer, or simply “printing” a beautiful piece of digital art. You might also hear the buzz of designers, entrepreneurs, educators, and other innovators – coffee in hand – collaborating across disciplines and sharing skills with each other.

Welcome to Fab@CIC, a digital fabrication lab and community providing an open platform for people to support each other in their efforts to make new things. Powered by CIC Boston, Fab Foundation, and Render Coffee, Fab@CIC is a fabrication lab, yes, but we’re more than that. We’re one of more than 1,000 “Fab Labs” in 78 countries around the globe providing space in which the technological future of personal fabrication and manufacturing can be tested and tried. We’re bringing together innovators from across the region to collaborate, as well as connecting our local design and startup communities with a rapidly flattening global business network.

To understand the significance of what we’re doing at Fab@CIC, one must understand the era in which we are now living. Technology historians say we’re on the precipice of a Third Industrial Revolution. The first American Industrial Revolution, born in the mill towns of Massachusetts in the late 18th century, launched the transition from handmade products to machine-powered manufacturing. The Second Industrial Revolution, which ran roughly from 1870-1914, involved another rapid ramp-up in industrialization behind mass-production of steel and the use of interchangeable machine parts.

This Third Industrial Revolution, sometimes called the Digital Revolution, involves the digitizing of how we make things. And like the first Industrial Revolution, this digital revolution we’re experiencing now was born in Massachusetts. Futurists see a day when rather than producing something in one place and shipping it thousands of miles away to be used, communities are producing more of what they use locally in fabrication labs.

Here at CIC Boston, our fabrication lab is a place where designers and entrepreneurs – really, anyone in Boston – can experiment and create in a supportive and collaborative environment. Technology available to the public in Fab@CIC includes 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC milling, vinyl cutting, soldering and electronics, and large format printing — skills that should not be hijacked by the scientific elite.

“We want to democratize access to the tools needed to invent the next generation of manufacturing and personal fabrication,” says Julia Hansen, one of Fab@CIC’s managers. “Everyone should be able to take part in shaping our physical world. We love great coffee, too.”

In the coming months, this blog will unpack some of the ways in which digital fabrication is being used here at Fab@CIC to design products that will improve lives around the world. We hope these stories – like Fab@CIC itself – will inspire someone who didn’t know she could make something, connect our work to the global Fab Lab movement, or link a product conceived in Boston to a market beyond the city limits. We hope you’ll check in here regularly, because, as we believe at Fab@CIC, the unexpected unfolds when new technology and creativity meet.

This post was written by CIC Member and Fab@CIC Contributor, Steve Holt.

Announcing CIC Providence! (+ an update on CIC Philadelphia)

CIC is thrilled to announce that we just broke ground in Providence, Rhode Island on a new innovation complex. Partners on the project include Brown University and Johnson & Johnson.  

CIC Providence will be situated in a brand new building in the historic Jewelry District, an easy walk to the Amtrak station, Brown and Rhode Island School of Design. We will have a gorgeous innovation space, as well as a gathering space modeled after our District Hall project in Boston.

#CICGetsGreen: Where does our waste go?  

#CICGetsGreen: Where does our waste go?  

In honor of green industry and innovation month, we’d like to shine a quick spotlight on CIC’s internal efforts to go green!

Two small but mighty CIC crews, the Planeteers and the Kitchens Team, are jointly leading a grassroots effort to institutionalize the 3 “R’s” – Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle – within CIC’s day-to-day operations. Below you will find a quick reference guide on some of the current initiatives.

Connect at Venture Café Mini-Conferences

Connect at Venture Café Mini-Conferences

If you’re from the Boston/Cambridge area and in the innovation community, it’s very likely that you’ve found yourself at Venture Café Kendall recently, hosted every Thursday at CIC Cambridge. These events are inarguably the preeminent networking gathering in the area. As a matter of fact, several hundred people attend each week.We’re going to highlight one of Venture Café Kendall’s rarer events, Mini-Conferences.  

Can tools for innovation help achieve racial equity?

Can tools for innovation help achieve racial equity?

At CIC, we tend to use lofty language. We talk about “fixing the world through innovation” and improving the human condition. Our goal is to create communities that connect resources, talent, and ideas in order to speed progress, and we came to St. Louis to do just that. But in light of recent events, I’ve found myself wondering: how do those ideas play out on the ground? How do concepts that serve innovation and design thinking improve people’s lives?