+info / Glossary

Additive manufacturing (AM)

is defined by ASTM as the “process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturingmethodologies, such as traditional machining. Synonyms: additive fabrication, additive processes, additive techniques, additive layer manufacturing, layer manufacturing and freeform fabrication”.

Fab Lab (fabrication laboratory)

is a small-scale workshop offering digital fabrication. It is generally equipped with an array of flexible computer controlled tools that cover several different length scales and various materials, with the aim to make “almost anything”. This includes technology-enabled products generally perceived as limited to mass production.

Fab Central The Fab Lab program is part of the MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) which broadly explores how the content of information relates to its physical representation.

Business Models for FabLabs
Fab Lab Iceland reports 4 business models for Fab Labs:

    1. The Enabler business model: launch new Labs or provide maintenance, supply chain or similar services for existing Labs.
    2. The Education business model: a global distributed model of education through Fab Labs (with the Fab Academy) where global experts in particular topics can deliver training from local Fab Labs or even from universities/businesses via the Fab Lab video conferencing network. P2P learning among users is also a part of this business model.
    3. The Incubator business model: provide infrastructure for entrepreneurs to turn their Fab Lab creations into sustainable businesses. The incubator provides back-office infrastructure, promotion & marketing, seed capital, the leverage of the Fab Lab network and other venture infrastructure to enable the entrepreneur to focus on her areas of expertise.
    4. The Replicated / Network business model: provide a product, service or curriculum that operates by utilizing the infrastructure, staff and expertise of a local Fab Lab. Such opportunities can be replicated, sold by and executed at many (or all) local Labs, with sustainable revenue at each location. The leverage of all Labs in the network simultaneously promoting and delivering the business creates strength and reach for the brand.

3D Printing

is a form of additive manufacturing technology where a three dimensional object is created by laying down successive layers of material.[1] 3D printers are generally faster, more affordable and easier to use than other additive manufacturing technologies. 3D printers offer product developers the ability to print parts and assemblies made of several materials with different mechanical and physical properties in a single build process. Advanced 3D printing technologies yield models that closely emulate the look, feel and functionality of product prototypes.

Recommended read: “What is 3D printing? A beginner’s guide to the desktop factory” by digitaltrends.com

3D Printing & the Future of Things

The following video sponsored by DHUB (Disseny Hub Barcelona) & created by nueveojos illustrates a possible future where 3D-Printing becomes mainstream and products are made on demand.

DIY 3D Printing

MakerBot
A MakerBot is a robot that makes things for you out of plastic. It comes as a kit that you assemble.

SLA Stereolitography

Stereolithography (SL or SLA from Stereolithography Aparatus) is an additive manufacturing technology for producing models, prototypes, patterns, and in some cases, production parts.

Stereolithography is an additive manufacturing process using a vat of liquid UV-curable photopolymer “resin” and a UV laser to build parts a layer at a time. On each layer, the laser beam traces a part cross-section pattern on the surface of the liquid resin. Exposure to the UV laser light cures, solidifies the pattern traced on the resin and adheres it to the layer below. (+Wikipedia)

SLS Selective laser sintering

Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an additive manufacturing technique that uses a high power laser (for example, a carbon dioxide laser) to fuse small particles of plastic, metal (direct metal laser sintering), ceramic, or glass powders into a mass that has a desired 3-dimensional shape. The laser selectively fuses powdered material by scanning cross-sections generated from a 3-D digital description of the part (for example from a CAD file or scan data) on the surface of a powder bed. After each cross-section is scanned, the powder bed is lowered by one layer thickness, a new layer of material is applied on top, and the process is repeated until the part is completed. (+Wikipedia)

 

Open Hardware

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.


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