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Category: News

News from the People’s Factory

Andreas Wilmsmeier

Recyclable Plastic – Do it Yourself!

This time it is not about ironing plastic bags to create a fascinating new material, this time you’ll learn to see lids of PET bottles as a wonderful raw material.

These colourful lids can be shredded to a granulate with the help of a machine called “Plastic Wolf“, available in the Fablab Luzern. As a granulate, the lids fit into the cylinder of our tabletop injection moulding machine in the People’s Factory. The granulate is heated to the right temperature in the cylinder until it melts and then pressed into an aluminum mould positioned under the cylinder. The result is a large paper clip, either coloured (when using a mix of lids) or monochrome (when using lids of one colour).

On 4 Wednesdays, the People’s Factory will be open for you from 4:00pm to make your own XL paperclip. Participation is free of charge, but you will have to bring 10 PET plastic lids and the small ring attached to the lids…

Plastic moulding will take us until about 7:00pm – after that, we are invited to join the Plastic Talks in the Neubad.

  • Wednesday 23.01.2019 // Plastic & Tokenomics
  • Wednesday 27.02.2019 // Circular & Plastic
  • Tuesday 19.03.2019 // Plastic & Planet
  • Wednesday 17.04.2019 // Plastic & Water

As with our Plasticious workshops, our moulding workshops are supported by PlasticTwist.

Marianne Wilmsmeier

Plasticious! – Again!

Last Saturday we ran our second Plastic Twist Workshop – Following our motto “On the bags, ready, iron away!”, 9 participants covered the floor in the People’s Factory with colourful plastic bags of all sizes. There was no shortage of raw materials and the variety of shopping bags really spurred on creativity. After a short period of time, everyone got the hang of it, grew familiar with handling the unknown material “plastic bag” and mastered the arbitrary shrinking processes of the bags perfectly.

Again, we forgot the time, most of our guests stayed much longer than planned. And once again, we are absolutely thrilled about the fascinating metamorphosis of plastic bags into book covers, pencil cases, coin bags, wallets, spectacle cases, key rings – a colourful range of new products!

Marianne Wilmsmeier

Popup Exam – Lucerne School of Art & Design

People’s Factory is hosting the Popup Exam of 25 students of “Design Management, International” from Lucerne School of Art & Design

When: January 24, 2019, from 10:00 am – 05:00pm
Where: People’s Factory, Bundesstr. 21, 6003 Lucerne
What: Exciting visions for selected companies, developed by the students
Extras: Apero from 05:00pm

Stijn Ossevoort, lecturer for “Creative Problem Solving and Opportunity Finding” and his students are embarking on an exciting experiment, taking their exams on 24.01.2019 to the public, in the People’s Factory in Lucerne. Anyone interested in how professionally, yet creatively, students approach shaping future, can join in for the pop-up exam.

Every student has chosen a real company and has developed a vision for that company for the next 10 to 30 years. They learned the tools of the trade during their studies: To recognise trends, drivers, impulses that could be relevant in the future, to describe them and to creatively derive scenarios that could be realistic. For example, A “Visual Translator” that is able to translate complicated texts into a simple graphical form; or a vision that puts your entire living space up in the air. Companies such as Google, Novartis, Swatch, a local real estate company or the Insel Hospital in Bern are looking forward to exciting visions from extremely committed students.

We are looking forward to everyone who is interested in what drives young, committed students and what they are able to achieve with their creativity!

And for all those who missed the “Pop-Up Exam” and are still curious, you can come to the People’s Factory for another month, until 21.02.2019, to see the great results during our opening hours.


Wim Lanz

1st Plastic Twist Workshop


We started with an introduction to plastics. Did you know that there are over 44000 different types of plastic?

Equipped with a lot of new information and a pile of plastic bags the participants brought along, we moved on to ironing multiple layers of plastic bags into thin, durable sheets of plastic. As it turned out, there are no limits to the creativity: From randomly combined colours to carefully designed patterns, with texture or smoothly ironed, it didn’t take long until we were able to put our laser cutter to work to cut the individual shapes of nicely designed items from the newly recycled material. In the last step, the new shapes were sewn together by hand with a saddle stitch or the sewing machine. This resulted in many different new products such as a coin pouch, a bag for fruit shopping or mobile phone covers.

Inspired by their success, our participants didn’t want to stop at the end of the workshop, so we extended the three hours scheduled to a total of five hours. In retrospect, it was one of our most creative workshops so far and we were able to demonstrate how easy it is to recycle readily available plastic material and create something nice and functional out of it.

Wim Lanz

People’s Factory Goes India

A few months ago we received an invitation to tender from Swissnex India: Swiss start-ups working in the field of digital production or production machines and interested in exploring business opportunities in India were invited  to participate in the Maker Week 2018 in November 2018 in Hyderabad, India.

The People’s Factory, along with 3 other Swiss startups, was selected out of over 200 candidates. On 8th November, the time had come: 8 days packed with appointments, presentations, discussions and conversations with a lot of high-ranking contacts as well as participation in the Maker Fair exhibition in Hyderabad with a joint Swiss exhibition booth. Indian culture played a major role, especially the very tasty, but also partly very spicy food from the region where the spiciest Indian recipes originate.

We were overwhelmed by the energy and creativity with which modern topics such as digital production are supported and promoted in India: From very young students, who implemented creative ideas to solve local problems with modern technology (supported by teaching staff), up to first-class incubation centres for start ups, everything is there.

The People’s Factory attracted so much interest that we decided to start working on plans to develop and produce our own digital machines. Our goal is to make industrial technology as appealing and simple as home appliances in terms of design and operation, so that everyone in the world can take control of the production of everyday objects.

Stay tuned for future updates or reach out to us, if you are interested in updates.

Marianne Wilmsmeier

Article in Luzerner Rundschau

The “Luzerner Rundschau” published an article about the opening of the first People’s Factory in Lucerne on September 8, 2018.

Marianne Wilmsmeier

Article in Unternehmerzeitung

The “Unternehmerzeitung” newspaper published an article about the opening of the first People’s Factory in Lucerne on September 8, 2018 – and our plans to expand into the world…

Marianne Wilmsmeier

Article in Luzerner Zeitung

The “Luzerner Zeitung” newspaper is running an article about the People’s Factory and the opening of the first actual People’s Factory in Lucerne on September 8, 2018 – Don’t miss reading it

(Photo: Dominik Wunderli, 17. August 2018, Luzerner Zeitung)


Marianne Wilmsmeier

A great street festival in Lucerne’s Neustadt district

Summer, sun, happy people – the best conditions for an exuberant street party. And we were right in the middle of it. Over 150 colourful spinning tops were assembled, painted and tried out at our stand during the afternoon. At the same time, a laser cutter and a 3D printer tirelessly produced the supply of individual parts for the spinning tops. You could watch what astonished many young and old visitors. We met great people and really felt at home in the neighbourhood. Now we are looking forward to the opening of the first People’s Factory on 08.09.2018 at Bundesstr. 21. 

Marianne Wilmsmeier

PLUGin Session at SAP Walldorf

Buying was yesterday! 

Ready for the next big change in production?

The People’s Factory was invited by SAP to present the People’s Factory concept to interested employees at its headquarter in Walldorf. At SAP, they call it “Plugin Session” and offers its employees the opportunity to learn about exciting topics that usually lie outside their daily work. Julien Vayssière, Vice President at SAP, was the “Theme Hunter” in this case. Among other things, he manages the SAP “d-shops” (developers’ shop). This is a global network of SAP-internal “makerspaces” in which SAP employees can try out the latest technologies to develop ideas for the applications of the future. 

On Tuesday, 12.06.2018, Julien Vayssière and Myles Fenlon, Solution and Product Marketing Expert at SAP, gave me an incredibly warm welcome. After a lunch together, the visit of the “d-Shop” in Walldorf, the presentation followed in front of about 40 very interested SAP employees. Many questions, the review of the first “People’s Factory” products and further discussions have clearly exceeded the planned time frame. The feedback was very positive and confirms us once again to continue working on the implementation of our vision.

Many thanks for this great opportunity!