Fab@Home 'Fabber' Freeform Fabricator

The Fab@Home free-form fabricator may bring the rapid prototyping revolution right into the privacy of your own home - and for a fraction of the cost of industrial machines.


(Fab@Home home fabricator)

The basic function of the Fab@Home device is that it is able to make a quick copy of a three-dimensional object that has been specified with a CAD (Computer Aided Design) file. In other words, you use some software on your computer to specify exactly what it looks like and, just as a regular printer creates a copy of a drawing on paper, the Fab@Home device creates a three-dimensional copy using plastic or similar materials.

Scientists, engineers and designers have been using machines to do this same function; they called it stereolithography. These machines cost anywhere from $20,000 to more than a million dollars.

It should also be pointed out that a few intrepid entrepreneurs are offering "3D printouts" - i.e., rapid prototyping - from their online stores. You upload the file and they print out your part and mail it back to you. You might just be able to look to your left and find some of these excellent businesses ;)

Curious to see how Fab@Home works? Take a look at this short video from Fab@Home:


(Fab@Home Fabber Home Fabrication video)

Hod Lipson of Cornell University, along with his PhD student Evan Malone, launched the Fab@Home project last October hoping to bring this amazing "3D Printer" into the home.

"We are trying to get this technology into as many hands as possible," Malone said. "The kit is designed to be as simple as possible... It's probably the cheapest machine of this kind out there."

The kit can be assembled with a soldering iron and a couple of screwdrivers. It has been tested with silicone, plaster, play-doh - not to mention chocolate and icing. Multiple materials can be used; the software that comes with the kit prompts the user to provide the appropriate materials at the propitious moment.

Technovelgy readers should be familiar with this idea. RepRap: Self-Replicating Rapid Prototyping, a self-replicating, rapid prototyping machine under development at the University of Bath in England was covered here almost two years ago. Dr. Adrian Bowyer, the innovator behind RepRap, is enthusiastic about all forms of rapid prototyping for the home hobbyist.

"Fab@Home is an interesting idea; it should be easy for anyone in the world to build," Bowyer says. "Once you've used one you never want to go back, it's liberating and enormously fun."
He also points out that the CAD designs that are used to guide Fab@Home machines are basically just software files, and are easily traded and swapped between users. His own RepRap software is itself open-source.

Read more about Malone and Lipson's home fabricator as well as Bowyer's RepRap rapid prototyping, not to mention the Fab@Home website. If you recognize the name "Hod Lipson" you are probably thinking about several other extremely cool robotic projects:

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/11/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Manufacturing ")

3D Cocooner From Festo Spins Web In Mid-Air
'It makes drawings in the air following drawings it scans with photo-cells.' - Murray Leinster, 1945

XYZprinting 3D Pen Used, Reviewed By Terrible Artist
'Plastic comes out of the end of the drawing arm and hardens...' - Murray Leinster, 1945.

3D Printing Microparticles
'Finest quality. Superior workmanship...' - Ridley Scott, 1982.

LM3D Swim First 3D-Printed Production Car
'Almost as good as the original it was printed fromů' - Philip K. Dick, 1956.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Turing's Nose - Was That Scent Real Or Artificial?
'Rippling arpeggios of thyme and lavender...'

Xian'er Buddhist Monk Robot
'Getting to his feet he crossed the waiting room to the Padre booth...'

AnBot Security Robot WILL Tase You, Bro
Michael Crichton right again.

Hover Camera - Unfold Drone, Shoot Selfie
'He set his camera to follow him...'

A Baker's Dozen Of Autonomous Car-Related Revolutions
'Old people began to cross the continent in their own cars.'

Would You Date A Robot? 1 in 4 Say 'Yes'!
'My hands touched a great keyboard, whence, perfect through long practice, I could direct lifelike motion.'

Sophia, The Personable Robot From Hanson Robotics.
'The de luxe model... has fifty different facial expressions...'

Swimming, Slithering Snake Robot
John Connor, how do you feel about swimming snakes?

The First 'Drone Cafe' Started By Dutch Students
'It was a smooth ovoid floating a few inches from the floor...'

Astronaut Tim Peake Completes Space Marathon
'Joe got out the gravity-simulator harnesses...'

Aerojet Rocketdyne 'Ion Drive' To Reach The Asteroids? (Update!)
'It has its own ion drive...'

Beatie Wolfe's Album Is A Deck Of NFC Cards
'The greater trumps ready to step right out through those glistening surfaces.'

Is Social Media Saving Space Travel?
'Officially, they were delighted to share their experiences with the public.'

iBubble Scuba Drone Follower
'Hovered behind him like a large tame bee...'

Ironing Robot May Fulfill Russian Science Fiction Dreams
Sometimes, the old inventions are the best.

Organic Photonic Skin Display
'A strip of readout skin on my wrist...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.