Facebook New Research Development Lab

Facebook New Research Development Lab

Facebook on Tuesday opened the doors to its new 22,000-square-foot hardware research and development lab to reporters, offering a peek inside the company’s huge new R&D space. Here, engineers from teams across Facebook will be able to work on new projects, from future versions of the Oculus to new components for the company’s many data centers. Facebook New Research Development Lab

 Facebook New Reasearch Development Lab (1)

After sufficient requests, Fb burrowed out a bunch of workplaces in Constructing 17 of its headquarters, drilled big assist columns all the way down to the bedrock to assist the heavy equipment, and turned the area right into a gleaming white, futuristic hack middle.

It’s a large improve from the place Fb’s tinkering within the bodily world began. “Our first lab was a giant as a desk within the previous mail room” laughs Parikh. His favorite piece of the brand new lab? An electron microscope with 10,000X magnification for inspecting teeny, tiny failures in . Development started 9 months in the past under the supervision of Fb’s Mechanical And Energy Supervisor Mikal Greaves, and now the primary groups are transferring in.

Dubbed “Area 404” (yes, after the error page), the space is equipped with industrial machinery that looks like it would be more at home in a factory than in the middle of Facebook’s sprawling headquarters.

Parikh explains that there are two most important goals for Space 404:

  1. To create a collaboration area sufficiently big to get engineers from throughout the corporate collectively in individual to work on shared issues
  2. To construct a state-of-the-art laboratory with the tools essential to prototype and fail take a look at the early designs of Fb’s forthcoming devices

Among the equipment are enormous milling machines (for making prototypes), an electron microscope (to get a closer look at parts that have failed) and a water jet cutter (a tool that cuts metal and other material using super high-pressure streams of water.)

Facebook New Research Development Lab

Facebook New Reasearch Development Lab (3)

These machines are far more serious than what you would typically find in a Silicon Valley R&D lab and the building itself had to specially modify to accommodate the equipment. The floor was completely removed and 100 pylons were inserted 60 feet into the bedrock underneath the building, which was then reinforced with rebar and 3 feet of concrete.

Now that the facility is done — construction began last fall — Facebook can begin moving its disparate teams of engineers into space. The hope is that having all hardware engineers under one roof, along with the upgraded equipment, will allow the teams to build new products faster than ever. Thanks to the new machinery, prototypes, and testing that could previously only be completed by third-party partners can now be done by engineers at Facebook.

Facebook New Reasearch Development Lab (2)

“We need to move extremely fast and make prototypes very rapidly,” says Spencer Burns, CNC Model Maker at Facebook. “Our goal on the prototyping side is to take prototypes that would normally take weeks or even months and bring that down to days.”

So what exactly will they be building in this massive new lab? The short answer is a little bit of everything.

Prototypes for the future version of Oculus will be researched and created here, as will the outer shell and camera housing for the company’s Surround 360 VR camera. There will even be research and development for parts for Aquila, Facebook’s solar-powered drone.

Facebook New Research Development Lab


The company won’t say how much it is spending on all this, though it’s safe to say the investment is a substantial one, given the scale of the facility. That the company would invest so aggressively in some of its newest (and unproven) projects may seem like a risky move to some. But if Facebook can indeed speed up its testing and research as much as they say, then it might just be able to accomplish some of its more lofty goals a little sooner.