Have your coffee and print it in 3D, too

Free Wi-Fi gets customers into Starbucks in the United States, but in Barcelona, the lure is now the 3-D printing.

FabCafé Barcelona opened last week, according the The Local’s Spain edition, offering 3D printing and laser cutting along with food and drink while the customer waits. The “fab” in the name comes from digital fabrication.

The idea started in Tokyo in 2012 and spread to Taipei last year. The main FabCafé Web site explains that the name comes from both digital fabrication and fabulous. It offers franchises.

Tokyo’s café offers workshops, themed events for Valentine’s Day, where attendees had their designs laser cut onto macarons. The Taipei location recently offered a 3D-scanning workshop where participants got a quick 3D scan output to digital files that they could take with them.

“We want people to start using these types of printers every day,” said Cecilia Tham, the founder of FabCafé Barcelona, in La Vanguardia.

Prices vary depending on the time needed to create the design, from $11 (8 euros) for 15 minutes of printing on the laser cutter to $41.26 (30 euros) for an hour. The café also has “fabboys” and fabgirls” on staff to help customers.

The customers only need to bring a USB drive with their design or they can browse through the café’s catalog of designs, enabling them to download a design from Japan and create it in Barcelona.

Pam Tobey is the graphics editor of the Morning Mix Web team at The Washington Post and a member of the Presentation Desk’s Information Design graphics team.
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