I’ve received a few tips on this, and somehow it keeps slipping by. The fab@home project immediately reminds me of reprap. This is a completely open source hardware project for rapid prototyping/3d modeling. In the past, manufacturing something like a turkey baster bulb required injection molding. The project wiki has full details on building your own, including manufacturing houses to get all the acrylic laser cut. It looks like you could get your hands on one of these pretty easily if you don’t mind making a dent in your wallet. Thanks to [nickjohnson] and [peter B]. [peter B] also noted that the cornell boys have an even nicer one that they use to make zinc-air batteries and artificial muscles.

If you happen to be in Berlin on December 27th, you might want to sign up for Fabienne’s wifi detector hacking workshop at 23c3.

15 thoughts on “Fab@home

  1. someone needs to publish info on acrylic molding, and manufacturing.

    Everyone I know has tried to do search engine “hacking” to try and get info on it with no luck.

    I’d like to be the only person in the world with a translucent laptop case for my old Thinkpad. I have the design software just not the hardware, and knowledge.

    Pretty rounded cases would also be cool instead of tasteless slabs bolted, or glued together.

  2. try making a mold out of plaster and pouring liquid acrylic into the mold. you cn make a really thin liquid acrylic with scrap acrylic and acetone. i use it as a glue because the acetone evaporates and the acrylic solidifies.

    i’m not an expert, and don’t destroy anything because this might not work, but give it a go if you’d like. just keep the goop thin, use a lot of acetone

  3. If I recall my jr high woodshop classes correctly (not that long ago, I’m still in high school), acryllic is pretty easy to work with. All you need is some good heater. Place it over the heat for a few seconds and bend. The one we used pretty much had this long thin metal bar that got really hot, and then you just set it an inch or two above that for a bit and you’d be good. I’m pretty sure that was acryllic….

  4. I’ve been watching this for a while. Kinda cool. But just kinda. So far, all I see is a bunch of silicon rubber objects of limited use and crude design, with part of the design limitation making ANY object made have the cross-section of a log cabin wall. Co-centric rings of silicon calk.

    If there is a way to print an object without the ring structure, and out of something other than silicon calk then this could be cool(er).

  5. The “Fabber” shown CAN print with a LOT of different materials, which is one of the goals of the project; to expand construction materials. If you look at the fab@home site, you’ll see one person put a heating element on the deposition tool and filled it with chocolate, then printed their own custom chocolate candy. I have a design I thought up for a remoted hopper for airsoft BBs as the construction material, pressurized heated interchangeable deposition cylinder with servo valved nozzle. This would allow for the construction of everyday things made of (bright green) plastic. Ever wish you this part that fit right in here and did this, now you can print it!

  6. I purchased one of these for school with the intent of reverse engineering parts of it to design a bigger machine with multiple deposition tools.It seems to be a very cool machine with a lot of potential uses. Replacing the deposition tool with a dremel sounds good in theory, but it won’t work on this machine because of the lateral forces on the cutter. I’ve built three different cnc mills and this is always a big issue. Now replacing the deposition tool with a laser of some kind might be interesting.

  7. I wish I had a friend with a fab machine to print out one for me. I’m into robotics. Parts are hard to come by without the $. There is a huge future for this product. I can think of a few stupid things I use everyday that I could make with this. A comb, led pencil, anything plastic really. The only hard part is writing out the piece in CAD. Hell I guess thats what torrent is for. :) < href="adamcpennington.googlepages.com">BC Computer Repair Fontana

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