New in Fabman: Mandatory bookings, SEPA payments & more

New in Fabman: Mandatory bookings, SEPA payments & more

Greetings from the home office! 👋 I hope you’re all in good health while COVID-19 keeps sweeping accross the globe.

We know that many community spaces are hit particulary hard by the new social distancing rules in many countries. But we’ve just released several new features, including one that might help you stay open during this crisis – as long as you’re not on forced lockdown.

Mandatory bookings

There’s a new option in the equipment settings that lets you make bookings mandatory. If you enable it, members must book the machine if they want to switch it on – and they can only use it for as long as they’ve booked it.

How does this help during the current crisis? It lets you reduce the amount of social contact people have in your lab.

Enable this option for every machine and your members will know there’s no point in showing up at the lab if you haven’t booked equipment. No more waiting in line for the laser cutter. They’ll book the machine in advance – from the safety of their home. They’ll know exactly when it’s time to go to the lab – and when it’s time to leave.

Together with Fabman’s other safety and automation features, this should help you run your lab as safely as possible and hopefully get through this global pandemic in one piece.

Let us know if you have more ideas on how labs can stay open safely during these difficult times. In the meantime, we have some more things to anounce:

SEPA Direct Debit payments

This is something we’ve tried do offer for a very long time. Unfortunately, most payment processors (including Stripe) make SEPA payments either very cumbersome or don’t offer it at all. That’s why we’ve decided to use a different approach.

Here’s how it works: You simply use our “Collect payment” feature to create payments for all due invoices – whether your members pay by credit card or SEPA. But instead of processing SEPA through a 3rd-party payment processor, Fabman generates a standardized SEPA Direct Debit transaction file.

You can download that file and import it into your online banking application to automatically generate SEPA transactions for all due invoices in one go! And the best part: this avoids any additional transaction fees from payment processors, helping you reduce costs.

Opening hours with breaks

You can finally go for lunch! Well, you always could. But now you can also exclude the lunch break from your opening hours:

Other changes

As always, we’ve released several other improvements and fixes over the past month:

  • When members scan the QR code on the bridge’s display they now immediately see if the equipment is currently disabled (eg. due to maintenance).
  • Fix: If you tried to switch on equipment via the QR code and were denied access, we failed to show the exact reason for the rejection in some circumstances.
  • Fix: If you followed a link but had to sign in first, we sometimes didn’t forward you to your desired page afterwards.
  • Fix: The access log did not contain denied attempts of members trying to switch on equipment via QR codes.
  • Fix: Restoring the scroll position was quite hindering on some views, eg., when adding several new members back-to-back.
  • Fix: Editing a multi-day holiday could reset the end date to the start date.
  • Bridge API: Using the „extraCharge“ field caused an erroneous charge being created when moving an active activity to another member.
  • Fix: Creating invoices for all charges only included charges BEFORE the cuttoff date – and excluded those exactly at the cutoff date.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Happylab Berlin has been using our new mandatory bookings for about a week to re-open their lab while keeping their staff and members safe. Maybe @roland can share what they have done to manage this crisis in Berlin.