The DeskTop Factory
November 25th, 2004

Wired reports on the Leapfrogging promise of the DeskTop Factory:
“…A fab lab is a miniature factory for the digital age. The latest version consists of three Linux PCs, a laser cutter, a combination 3-D scanner and drill, a numerically controlled X-Acto knife, and a handful of RISC chips. Set it up, turn it on, and you can crank out not only solid objects like eyeglass frames and action figures but, thanks to Gershenfeld’s research, electronic devices like radios and computers, too…His success suggests that manufacturing – like publishing, coding, music and film distribution, and communications before it – is about to bust out of its industrial confines…To make an object with a desktop fab, you need three things: the equipment itself; a digital design, or model, of the object; and consumables – as in plastic, powder, or goop. The equipment may be prohibitively expensive, but it’s bound to become less so. If fabs decline in price to, say, $2,500, they’ll become the hacker hobby tool du jour…”


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