Take a look inside a gorgeous inventor's paradise in a remote part of Brooklyn that used to be a deserted, rotted-out machine shop

New LabCharlotte Hu / Business Insider

An inventor's treasure trove lies tucked away in a remote part of Brooklyn.

New Lab, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, is an oasis for artists, engineers and entrepreneurs, serving as a hub where they can quickly mockup products and test their ideas.

The two-year-old New Lab, which is the home to over 100 NYC startups today, was once Building 128, a machine shop that created parts for ships used in both World Wars, and had since fallen into disrepair.

New Lab's creators, David Belt and Scott Cohen, turned the 84,000 square-foot facility into a space that would help the entrepreneurs make their ideas into physical products.

Today, the site houses a 3D printing lab, laser cutters, wood and metal shops, a fabrication shop, an electronics shop, and casting and finishing equipment. This full set of equipment, worth $5 million total, gives creators everything they need to develop a working prototype.

The shops also come staffed with experts and resources that can help creators learn and troubleshoot. In addition to being a one stop shop for product development, New Lab also serves as a platform where startups can collaborate with each other and seek partnerships with larger companies.

Since its inception, New Lab has attracted people working in disciplines like robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotech, environment, energy, biotech, and urban design.

Take a look inside the immaculately designed New Lab, with mini museums and innovation showcases around every corner and vibrant colors that pop when contrasted against the building's steel skeleton.


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New Lab has four levels. A visual map is available to visitors when they first walk in.

New Lab has four levels. A visual map is available to visitors when they first walk in.

The first floor holds mainly conference rooms, open desks, and event spaces. It also has a few private studios further from the entrance.

The first floor holds mainly conference rooms, open desks, and event spaces. It also has a few private studios further from the entrance.

Stationed in the center is a tiny, 3D printed 'mini-museum' that explains the theory of perpetual motion.

Stationed in the center is a tiny, 3D printed 'mini-museum' that explains the theory of perpetual motion.

The cafe is also on the first floor, along with a small kitchenette to the side and a lounge. The colorful cafe counter is fashioned after Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which is a model of human motivation referenced frequently in user experience design.

The cafe is also on the first floor, along with a small kitchenette to the side and a lounge. The colorful cafe counter is fashioned after Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which is a model of human motivation referenced frequently in user experience design.

The lounge also has a mini library where members can check out books.

The lounge also has a mini library where members can check out books.

The lounge faces a clear conference room, the back wall of which is lined with a row of rainbow-colored, circular neon lights.

The lounge faces a clear conference room, the back wall of which is lined with a row of rainbow-colored, circular neon lights.

The metal, wood, and fabrication shops are located on the first floor, too.

The metal, wood, and fabrication shops are located on the first floor, too.

The first thing you see after climbing up the stairs to the second level is a line of mini exhibits.

The first thing you see after climbing up the stairs to the second level is a line of mini exhibits.

These mini exhibits showcase a range of subjects from the history of manufacturing, to materials used in manufacturing, to the evolution of technology and engineering.

These mini exhibits showcase a range of subjects from the history of manufacturing, to materials used in manufacturing, to the evolution of technology and engineering.

Along the center of the floor is a long expanse of couches and tables that double as public meeting spaces and cafe-like work spaces.

Along the center of the floor is a long expanse of couches and tables that double as public meeting spaces and cafe-like work spaces.

The space is adorned with colorful furniture and tall plants.

The space is adorned with colorful furniture and tall plants.

The open space is also a way to showcase the works of New Lab's residents, like this pollution-free, compostable furniture called Mycoform, made by startup Terraform ONE from mushrooms, wood chips, gypsum, oat bran, and other biological materials.

The open space is also a way to showcase the works of New Lab's residents, like this pollution-free, compostable furniture called Mycoform, made by startup Terraform ONE from mushrooms, wood chips, gypsum, oat bran, and other biological materials.

Another example of this is Farmshelf's vertical farming system, which is a way to grow herbs and vegetables without soil. Farmshelf has also deployed three of these units at Grand Central Station.

Another example of this is Farmshelf's vertical farming system, which is a way to grow herbs and vegetables without soil. Farmshelf has also deployed three of these units at Grand Central Station.

New Lab has recently teamed up with Johnson & Johnson's JLabs to host the Existential Medicine series, which it describes as the first foray into a potential partnership. The series brings together different members of the innovation and medical community, and New Lab hopes that this can be a platform for addressing critical questions about tech disruption in medicine and how it's trickling down into patient experience.

New Lab has recently teamed up with Johnson & Johnson's JLabs to host the Existential Medicine series, which it describes as the first foray into a potential partnership. The series brings together different members of the innovation and medical community, and New Lab hopes that this can be a platform for addressing critical questions about tech disruption in medicine and how it's trickling down into patient experience.

The first discussion panel of the series included the CEO of Epibone, a startup at JLabs that's using 3D-printing and stem cells to create bones, a Harvard scientist who's creating tiny brain-like organoids in jars to understand neurologic disease, and a Cornell scientist who's growing human blood cells to develop cures for sickle cell anemia.

The first discussion panel of the series included the CEO of Epibone, a startup at JLabs that's using 3D-printing and stem cells to create bones, a Harvard scientist who's creating tiny brain-like organoids in jars to understand neurologic disease, and a Cornell scientist who's growing human blood cells to develop cures for sickle cell anemia.

Source: New Lab

While New Lab is home to startups across various industry sectors, there are around 10 companies that focus on biology and medical technology. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside their labs, but here are a few of them.

While New Lab is home to startups across various industry sectors, there are around 10 companies that focus on biology and medical technology. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside their labs, but here are a few of them.

OccamzRazor: an AI-neuroscience company trying to find treatments for Parkinson’s Disease by connecting disease knowledge, research, and drug development.

Everbeat: a wrist device with clinical-grade ECG monitoring that can detect heart problems like atrial fibrillation (AF). Class 2 FDA clearance for this wearable device and its accompanying app is expected in early 2018.

Prosper Technologies: a company that using gas infusion across a range of different application including in health and medicine. These include uses in wound care by using increased oxygen flow to create vasodilation and remove bacteria, normabaric oxygen therapy which can treat certain chemical and thermal injuries, and dental and oral care including treatments for periodontal disease, gingivitis, and halitosis.

StrongArm Technologies: a company that makes a product resembling a wearable exoskeleton that monitors movement of industrial workers for companies like Walmart, FedEx, and JetBlue, and use the data to analyze patterns and prevent workplace injuries. They're also using this data to help bring insurance rates down.

To become a member, entrepreneurs and companies apply online, after which their application is reviewed by the New Lab team as well as experts in the discipline.

To become a member, entrepreneurs and companies apply online, after which their application is reviewed by the New Lab team as well as experts in the discipline.

Entrepreneurs can choose between two types of memberships. Resident Members with long-term (minimum of one-year) leases at New Lab and can occupy desks, loft spaces, or studios. Flex Members can access New Lab without a designated workspace and have the option of using the equipment there.

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