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July 2, 2018

FABCARE – Design anything, make anywhere, care anyone

FABCARE is an experimental initiative created to stimulate designers, makers and independent innovators to design open source product for healthcare that can be distributed through digital platforms and realized in Fab Labs.

FABCARE is an action developed by Polifactory – the Fab Lab of Politecnico di Milano (www.polifactory.polimi.it) – within Distributed Design Market Platform (distributeddesign.eu), a project funded in 2017 by Creative Europe Program to implement the global network of Fab Labs and promoting and increasing the link between designers and makers with the European market.

Nowadays, types of products such as aids and prostheses can be designed using open source knowledge, software and hardware to be then materialized in Fab Labs by combining the skills of makers with digital manufacturing technologies.

Starting from this logic, there are many different solutions that can be thought of and implemented in order to meet the needs of prevention or care of everyone. FABCARE’s challenge thus becomes to demonstrate how designers, makers and independent innovators – with the support of patients, caregivers and their associations – can concretely design, produce and distribute open source healthcare solutions with a real market potential .

FABCARE has the official endorsement and technical and scientific support of the Centro Medico Santagostino (www.cmsantagostino.it), the first Italian network of specialist polyclinics designed and managed by a social venture capital company experimenting economically sustainable and socially responsible healthcare service model.

FABCARE develops in three steps:

  1. An Open Call. Polifactory and Distributed Design Market Platform invite groups of designers, makers and independent innovators to submit innovative ideas related to open source products for healthcare, which can be materialized in Fab Labs.
  2. Four ideas are selected by an Evaluation Committee composed of design, healthcare and making experts. The four groups become a community of Makers in residence within Fab Lab Polifactory developing prototypes and demonstrating the possibility of creating open source products for healthcare with real market potential.
  3. The projects will promoted on the platform distributeddesign.eu, presented in events and initiatives dedicated to designers, makers, and healthcare.


This Open Call stimulates designers, makers and independent innovators to freely propose ideas and open source solutions for health and personal care products and the reduction of disability.

Contemporary healthcare is a sector in great transformation that sees as protagonist a citizen-user-patient who is confronted with a progressive lengthening of the average age of life, subject therefore to an increasing probability of chronic diseases. It is a citizen-user increasingly attentive to prevention and monitoring (before turning into a patient) and, once patient, more and more attentive to the quality of care and often willing to handle it in person, thanks to its being technologically “connected” and “enabled”. Projects can therefore be solutions designed to connect to the body, to support it or improve it, even for limited or temporary periods and situations. These solutions can be used, worn and can physically and digitally interface with people or between people and the environment.



A panel of design experts, healthcare professionals, Fab Lab managers and policymakers will evaluate – at its sole discretion – all the submitted proposals selecting four ideas that will then be developed in Polifactory through the “Makers in residence” initiative .



25th June 2018: submission of ideas.
End of June 2018: official communication of the four selected projects.
July – September 2018: end of prototipyng the projects in Polifactory.October 2018: presentation of the projects and their promotion on the DDM Platform.



Participating is simple. Applications for participation can be submitted untilJune 25, 2018. Proposals must be sent to the email address [email protected] indicating “Open Call for Ideas DDMP + idea name” and must contain two attached documents:

Project elaborate. PDF file resolution 150 DPI (maximum file size PDF = 10 MB) named as follows: “NomeIdea.pdf” and containing:

  • –  text in Italian and English (up to 1,000 characters including spaces) explaining how the project idea is open source, what is its level of innovation and utility in the field of healthcare, what is its technical feasibility, both as prototype and final product, using one or more technologies present in Fab Labs (3D printing, laser cutting, vinyl cutting, CNC milling machines, microprocessors and microcontrollers, sensors and actuators);
  • –  overall rendering or illustration (1 or more images), general technical drawings and main technical and constructive details of the object that can help the Evaluation Committee to better understand the project idea.

    Contacts and profile of the participants. Text file with personal data (name and surname, address, email and telephone) and a short bio (500 characters including spaces, at least) of each member of the group.

    Polifactory assumes no responsibility for any IT errors due to third parties, accident or force majeure. The material sent will not be returned.


July 2, 2018


Fab Lab Polifactory
+39 02 2399 7134