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 Printer 'Teleports' Objects Like Simak's Way Stations
'An entirely new being but exactly like the old one'- Clifford Simak, 1963.

3Doodler 2.0 Create A 3D Object With A Pen
'Plastic comes out of the end of the drawing arm and hardens as it comes.'- Murray Leinster, 1945.

Oak Ridge To Pay For The (Giant, Superfast 3D) Printer
'Can your Biltong print for more than a hundred people?'- Philip K. Dick, 1956.

Artisanal 3D Printing By Martha Stewart
'Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance.'- William Gibson, 1999.

 

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

DJI Phantom Drone Now With GPS Blocking
'Workarounds were illegal and the fines were expensive...'

OMOTE Face Hackers At Work Video
'...a video-manicuring program came on line.'

Vroom! Your Car Or Truck's Engine Noise Might Be Fake
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'

Care-O-Bot 4 Personal Service Robot
'Beside her moved a gleaming robant...'

Skin Wearable Harvests Power With Triboelectric Effect
'He had tightened the chest to gain maximum pumping action...'

EDSAP Wearable Stroke Detection
'His Altec cephalochromoscope, around which he had built the pleasure part of his schedule...'

Brand Killer Helmet Blocks Real-Life Ads
'Some merely held the holos [ads] at arm's length.'

In Vivo Micromotors Powered By Stomach Acid
First in vivo study of artificial micromotors.

Synthetic 'Squid Skin' For Camouflage On The Way
'The small, chameleon-clad figures continued to advance.'

3D Printer 'Teleports' Objects Like Simak's Way Stations
'An entirely new being but exactly like the old one'

Laser Etching Makes Metal Super-Hydrophobic
'The water flowed off those walls without binding tension.'

Patient Walks Out With Fully Artificial Heart
'The throb of the robot pump gave him confidence...'

Radisens' Gemini Instant Blood Tests
An amazing lab-on-a-panel.

Nonhuman Artist Collective Keeps Robot Artist Earnings Until Legal
Pay the artists!

Argentine Orangutan Receives Basic Human Rights
'They wouldn't dare let the Fuzzies be proven sapient...'

Elon Musk, Google To Extend Internet Into Earth Orbit, Then Mars
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'

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.