Monday, August 27, 2007

The Mobile Fab Lab is on the Road!

Ready, just in time for the Fab 4 Forum and Symposium the Mobil Fab Lab hit the road! Designed to demonstrate the power of personal fabrication, it began its first tour. Here is a link to a blog that talks about the portable Fab Lab.

We'll try to follow the progress of the Mobile Fab Lab and keep you posted.

Friday, August 17, 2007

3D Software for 3D Printing Forums

We're very thankful to JANDSCREATIONS.COM for providing a forum where we can discuss 3D Modeling as it relates to Desktop 3D Printing. Visit the forums.

If Desktop 3D Printing is to become as popular as 2D printing, then a much wider range of users will need to feel comfortable with 3D modeling. The good news is that 3D modeling, for the first round of Desktop 3D Printers, can be created in much smaller packages than those required by gaming enthusiasts and 3D artists. Color materials, for instance won't be required until color 3D printers drop down to consumer level prices. Right now, the lowest cost color printer is just under $20K, so that will be a while.

More importantly, the technical skills requirements for designing in 3D will have to be greatly lowered before there can be wide acceptance of 3D printing in homes. There are many people looking at this problem and some very promising technologies are beginning to surface. The image at the top of this article, for instance, shows FiberMesh, a collaborative research project between TU Berlin and The University of Tokyo.

The forums are 'Application Neutral' in that we want to explore easier technologies that can be applied across the application spectrum. So, if you have an interest in 3D printing, we urge you to join us in exploring some ideas to make it far easier for the general population enjoy 3D modeling

New Images on Desktop Factory Web Site

As the beta testing continues, Desktop Factory has added some new photos of the output of their desktop 3D printer. The latest images show some real improvements in the surface and success at printing more intricate designs. Layer alignment seems greatly improved in these new images.

Notice the size of the Maze and how smoothly the sides printed. Earlier samples showed some slight misalignment from layer to layer so these images represent some great news.

Here are some additional new images.

Drive Train Housing

Flexible Spring

As new images become available from Desktop Factory, we'll post them. In the meantime, you can see all of the available images by clinking on the "To see more samples, visit the Photo Gallery." link on the Product Page.

Fourth International Fab Lab Forum - August 22-23, 2007

The Fourth International Fab Lab Forum and Symposium on Digital Fabrication will be hosted in Chicago from August 22 to August 23, 2007.

Covering everything from nanoscale protein to large scale construction it draws researchers and industry leaders from around the world. The progam for the event can be found at:

Fab Lab Program

3D Printing is just one of the methodologies that will be discussed at the forum. CNC technologies, like the ShopBot are equally important to the worldwide availablity of fabrication tools. Lest, you think that fabrication research is dull and boring, my might want to check out this experiment at using the ShopBot to construct a boat.

Fjord Boat Buoy Challenge

Of course, fabricating a boat and keeping it afloat are two different challenges.

To see these and more images of fabrication experiments from the MIT FabLab, go to FabCentral.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Desktop Factory now in Beta!

The July newsletter from the Desktop Factory indicates that beta machines are now in the field.

Desktop Factory Newsletter - July, 2007

This is great news.

At least one of the beta sites is guaranteed to give it a good workout. The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California has been using a variety of additive fabrication systems for some time and has wide experience with 3D printing. I know that Michael Berman and the rest of the faculty have been excited about the potential of the Desktop Factory for their students.

I'm extremely jealous!!

We now have both of the latest low-cost commercial desktop 3D printers now in beta which puts us one step closer to having them on our own desks!