Sunday, April 23, 2023

self sufficient production

A Fab Lab in Iceland

I've updated my reference list to my 2021 Fab Lab article, Your town needs a community Fab Lab. I'll provide a brief big picture summary of the potential again here. The Fab Lab initiative can achieve the following:
  • personal design of commodities when required or desired
  • local production, global shared design (open source hardware and software)
  • personal production of almost anything
  • training opportunities in the required digital and manufacturing skills
  • access to almost anyone, after some essential training
  • an educational reform agenda to bring education into the 21stC
  • reduced cost in commodity production due to far fewer supply chains
  • recycling of "junk"
  • possible to achieve both quality and quantity commodity production

Neil Gershenfeld describes this transformation as the Third Digital Revolution, meaning the interchangeability of bits and atoms to achieve personal fabrication of almost anything (contextual note, the 1st digital revolution was the Internet - dramatically enhanced communication; the 2nd digital revolution was computation - available to all due to the shrinking size and cost of computers be they PCs or smart phones). Rather than another new commodity, the idea of the Fab Lab is to put the means of production into the hands of more and more citizens. See my earlier article for a list of the 5 types of machines that are found in a Fab Lab.

REFERENCE UPDATE: (see original 2021 Fab Lab article for full references as well as more detail)
MIT Professor Neil Gershenfeld on How to Make Anything (Almost). (video, 28 minutes, 2023)
Gershenfelds. The Promise of Self Sufficient Production (2021)
Coronavirus tracking project for fab lab network development and deployment (2020)
Gershenfelds. Soon You’ll Be Able to Make Anything. It’ll Change Politics Forever (2018)