YouFab 2012

A collection of creative hack ideas brought to life with the laser cutter.

Closed THU, JUL 12, 2012 - FRI, AUG 31, 2012

Welcome international designers! Are you ready to win some cool prizes?

FabCafe is the first café in Japan with a laser cutter. Four months ago, FabCafe opened its doors in Shibuya, Tokyo. People were surprised. “What? A laser cutter! In a café?!” Now, unique creations are being fabricated here everyday. So far, we’ve had more than 10,000 customers, and they’ve created over 600 works of art with our laser cutter.

Our next goal is to share the excitement of fab with more people. So, this summer FabCafe has joined forces with the platform for creators to host an international design contest: You Fab 2012. One of the main appeals of fab is that someone can email you a design for a physical object like a bicycle, and it’s like sending you the bicycle itself. With a laser cutter, you can fabricate almost anything you want.

For You Fab 2012 we’re looking for exciting ideas from around the world, beyond the walls of our café in Tokyo. Design ideas can be submitted for a MacBook cover or using the material or your choice (see the Materials section below for more information).

FabCafe will make the prize-winning ideas into real products and sell them to the world on its website. One grand prize winner will get MacBook Air. Another grand prize winner will have the opportunity to throw an announcement party at FabCafe. Keep reading to find out how you can win.

What can be done with a laser cutter?


Materials can be engraved and cut.

1. Engraving

Designs can be carved into wood and other materials with the laser cutter. Wood is scorched by the heat of the laser, creating a cool vintage look.

2. Cutting

Intricate patterns can be cut that you wouldn’t be able to cut by hand. The laser cuts with a precision of less than one millimeter.


Many materials can be used, including wood, plywood, paper, leather, cork, aluminum laptop casings, acrylic, and seashells. Metal, vinyl chloride, and foodstuffs containing water cannot be used.

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