Imran's personal blog

February 22, 2012

The Fab Lab

Filed under: Uncategorized — ipeerbhai @ 2:15 am

Hi All,

I was browsing around the interweebs, and found the MIT fablabs proejct.  The idea is a catalog of machine tools needed to build pretty much any mechanical device.  Mills, lathes, that sort of thing. And you know what — the fab lab costs 88k, excluding tax and shipping!

There must be a cheaper way to accomplish all this.  And by cheaper — I mean 2 orders of magnitude.  A sub 1K fab lab.  Portable, too.  The heart of the FabLab are two tools — a CNC mill and a laser cutter.

Mills — I see viable options here for a sub 1k mill.  The ShapeOko, LumenLabs micRo, DIYCNC, and others.   I think the mill and the 3d printer likely will merge at some point in the future.  Either that, or diverge greatly.  A fork is coming.  If they merge, then so far, so good.  Sub 1k fab lab is possible.

A laser cutter — this is impossible to hit under 1k, I think.  3k is possible.  But I’d drop the laser cutter from the fab-lab.  What can a laser do, that a CNC mill can’t?

I’d add a lathe — or add lathe abilities to the mill.  So, what makes a good fab-lab? Hmmm…

See you all later!



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