A China on your Desktop: Factor E Farm’s Open Source Fab Lab

Forwarded from Marcin Jakubowski.

This is just the introduction, there is an extensive overview and discussion at the original posting.

Today’s Factor e Live Distillations focuses on Personal Fabrication. We discuss our goals of establishing a robust and replicable, high-performance flexible fabrication facility for producing just about anything – while relying largely on local resources – and while participating as a producer in a global market economy.

This post is a good overview of the type of tools that are already available – today – and which could be put together into a high-power, digital fabrication package – the Open Source Fab Lab. While the tools are already available and significant development has already been done, their integration into a meaningful productive ecology is the remaining task – in terms of providing a useful toolset for Global Village construction. The Personal Fabrication package is perhaps the most important piece of the Global Village Construction Set – in that these tools are used to create supporting hardware and machinery – for tasks ranging from agriculture to wireless communications. We hope that this presentation will help you see for yourself the kinds of applications and power that is already available to anyone who chooses to use these tools, as a step towards taking advantage of these tools. As was said about one particular example of the available technologies – the 3D printer called RepRap

“Think of RepRap as a China on your desktop.”
– Chris DiBona, Open Source Programs Manager, Google Inc., 8 April 2008.

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