The underground level of the Copernicus building is home to a huge workshop, where our specialists do very diverse and unique work. Many of the mechanisms and constructions we build are one-of-a-kind, so much so that it is hard to find any outside company able to subcontract for us. To maintain the right pace and quality of work, therefore, we need to be self-sufficient.
The Copernicus basements have a carpentry shop, welding facility, metalworking shop, paint studio, assembly facility, and electronics shop. They are equipped with a variety of machines and tools, ranging from traditional lathes, milling machines, and soldering irons to various types of numerically controlled machines (for making elements with complicated shapes or with very high precision), laser cutters (for precisely and quickly cutting out shapes from sheets of plywood, plastics, rubber, and many other materials), and a milling plotter (letting us freely shape the casings of our exhibits and quickly make prototypes from wood-derived materials).
We also have a few more traditional machines and lots of traditional manual tools, irreplaceable for making atypical or one-of-a-kind productions requiring finesse and good craftsmanship.
The team of specialists involved in building a single exhibit often includes several dozen individuals, each with different skill-sets but all working in concert: engineers collaborating with designers, physicists with builders, biologists with text editors, computer programmers with lab workers, carpenters with UX (User Experience) experts. Ideas and inventions intermingle in this creative melting-pot. We argue, debate, supplement each other’s work, build prototypes and test them thousands of times.