Fab@Home Review

Fab@Home: 3D objects from your printer for under $2,500

Over on Ars Technica, Nate Johnson has done a great review of the Fab@Home Project. Fab@Home is revolutionary in that it is attempting to create a desktop fabricator cheap enough for at home use (hence the name). It is the brainchild of Cornell student Evan Malone with help from Dr. Hod Lipson, his mentor for his PhD. Nate has done a great job and the article is definitely worth a read – points of particular interest for me:

  • Fab@Home have a Wiki, with photos, videos and other information on the project.
  • Koba Industries sell pre-cut parts so you can build your own Fab@Home even if you don’t have the tools to do the cutting.
  • Koba also sell an entire Fab@Home kit, assembly required, if that’s your preference for US$2995.
  • They need help upgrading their software! It’s available here on Sourceforge so if you are that way inclined…

Evan has done the whole thing as a labour of love. Unfortunately the project won’t help him get his Phd, so he is finding time tight to make upgrades to the project. The Ars Technica article has made the front page of Digg though so hopefully that will get some more people interested enough to dive in and give Evan a hand with things like the software, and also with tweaking it for improvements.

Interestingly Evan’s Phd Advisor Dr. Hod Lipson, also wrote an article in IEEE Spectrum two years ago echoing many of the sentiments of Neil Gershenfeld. And even though he makes some pretty strong connections between the science fiction nature like possibilities of fabbing at the time, I think even he would be surprised to see two years later how an open source type model is producing an exciting prototype and garnering so much interest.

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