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30-second science blogging: Wow, thing

As the song goes, “You make my heart sing./You make everything…”

Well, okay – this thing doesn’t make everything – but still… If you’ve got US$2400 lying around, maybe you could make your own desktop fabricator:

Rapid prototyping machines are already used by designers, engineers and scientists to create one-off mechanical parts and models. These create objects by depositing layer upon layer of liquid or powdered material.
These machines typically cost from $20,000 to $1.5 million, says Hod Lipson from Cornell University, US, who launched the Fab@Home project with PhD student Evan Malone in October 2006.
The standard version of their Freeform fabricator – or “fabber” – is about the size of a microwave oven and can be assembled for around $2400 (£1200). It can generate 3D objects from plastic and various other materials. Full documentation on how to build and operate the machine, along with all the software required, are available on the Fab@Home website, and all designs, documents and software have been released for free.

A desktop fabricator – how cool is that? Then you could sing your own version of the song – You make everything? Groovy.

(Oh yeah, the article mentions a similar project at Bath University in the UK, but their website doesn’t appear to have survived being slashdotted a couple of days ago…)

2 Responses to “30-second science blogging: Wow, thing”

  1. Brian Says:

    A desktop fabricator – how cool is that?

    Pretty damn cool. It’s like seeing the first mini computer and wondering what you could do if the thing was a bit smaller and cost as much as a color t.v.

    What I think it will really do is turn the notion of ‘frontier’ on it’s head. People think that moving to an asteroid or Mars or even the Kuiper Belt means being at the long end of a supply line.

    Instead what you’ll have is all the comforts of home – just shovel mass into the end of your fabricator.

  2. Brian Says:

    <i>A desktop fabricator – how cool is that? </i>

    Pretty damn cool. It's like seeing the first mini computer and wondering what you could do if the thing was a bit smaller and cost as much as a color t.v.

    What I think it will really do is turn the notion of 'frontier' on it's head. People think that moving to an asteroid or Mars or even the Kuiper Belt means being at the long end of a supply line.

    Instead what you'll have is all the comforts of home – just shovel mass into the end of your fabricator.

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