Media Ecologies Seminar Nov 2009


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Fablabs presentation from Media Ecologies event

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  • Eddie Kirkby The Manufacturing Institute Here to talk about Fablabs & 21 st Century Manufacturing Must start by saying I know very little about Media Ecology and the email discussions regarding “ transparently observable web interfacial stigmergically distributed personal fabrication “ did go slightly over my head However I will explain about Fablabs and how I think it fits in with the Media Ecologies agenda Hopefully this will spark some interesting discussions
  • Advice Educational programmes Manufacturing Health Service Other sectors Image Work with young people & schools Make It campaign Promote future of manufacturing Lean manufacturing Promotion of innovation All of this can be furthered through Fablabs
  • So that is the history lesson, but what actually is a Fablab Simplest explanation I have come across is this It is not a huge cutting edge R&D facility but can fit into a simple office/workshop space which helps to make it accessible But I’d like to show you a short clip where Professor Gershenfeld, the founder of the Fablabs movement explains in a little more detail…
  • The main tools & processes in a Fablab are: CAD/CAM for creating designs and programming the tools – most of the software is open-source or developed and supplied free by MIT 2D Material cutters – lasercutter, vinyl cutter Basic workshop tools & machines – saws, drills, lathes, etc 2D & 3D routing & milling machines Molding & casting in silicon, rubbers, chocolate, etc 3D printing machine for single piece manufacture Electronics, microcontrollers, etc
  • Honest answer is almost anything With a little imagination pretty much anything is possible!
  • Fablabs have spread all over the world In Pabal interest to develop measurement devices for milk safety to agricultural engine efficiency In Ghana people wanted to create machines directly powered from sunlight rather than electricity In Norway Sami sheep herders wanted wireless networks and animal tags In Afghanistan there was a need for wireless transmitters and receivers to create an internet network across the city
  • Although completely unplanned the desire for Fablabs came from across the globe Currently over 40 fablabs worldwide And soon the UK’s first in manchester
  • Not sure if that term is correct but seems to fit well Started with open source software, Linux, Open Office, etc Moved on to open source hardware, Aduino applications Now moved to manufacturing Will turn manufacturing model on its head Now Smari could design a product in Iceland and it can be printed or manufactured in Ghana by the end user
  • This gives us the possibility of global solutions to local issues By giving the means of innovation to everyone, not just corporations This allows the end user to design and make the solution to their own problem. Allows single unit manufacture of bespoke solutions All fablabs connected through internet and video conferencing Allows users to share their ideas, designs, processes and skills to create an ever growing international knowledge base
  • So here are a few examples of how this is being used across the world In Indian fablabs they are designing and manufacturing BioGas Plants that create electricity from Cow Dung
  • In Jalalabad in Afghanistan they have developed wireless networks across the city connecting hospitals, libraries, schools and other public buildings Using chicken wire, plywood and standard wireless routers
  • The Fablab in Cleveland, Ohio are helping the Fablab in Kenya to develop low energy LED lighting as the power requirements in the Fablab are too much for their solar panels.
  • The Waag Society Fablab in Amsterdam are helping Indians in Pabal to design and manufacture low cost prosthetic limbs So you can see there are lots of projects solving real social and environmental issues, many involving international collaboration
  • So what is happening in Manchester Have had our funding confirmed So hopefully opening in the middle of January We will be located at Sharp Project in East Manchester Media City for small and developing creative businesses Hopefully be conduit for Next Generation Broadband
  • Collaborative projects such as those discussed including social and commercial projects Open design competitions
  • So thank you for listening I hope it’s been interesting, or if not at least educational, failing that an excuse to escape from the kids I will try my best, with help from Jonathan and Sam over there to answer any of your questions
  • Media Ecologies Seminar Nov 2009

    1. 1. Fablabs A Transfomational Activity for Advanced Manufacturing in the 21st Century Dr Eddie Kirkby The Manufacturing Institute
    2. 2. The Manufacturing Institute <ul><li>Independent charity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advice & educational programmes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoting the image of manufacturing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Work with schools – Make It </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote the future of manufacturing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Advanced manufacturing methods </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation </li></ul></ul></ul>= Fablabs
    3. 3. What is a Fablab? <ul><li>“ A Fab Lab itself is a fully kitted Fabrication workshop containing all the necessary design engineering and manufacturing equipment capable of supporting single user production of ideas from inception through to prototyping” </li></ul><ul><li>Professor Neil Gershenfeld on Fablabs </li></ul>
    4. 4. What’s in a Fablab? CAD/CAM Design & Programming Tools Basic machines Drills, Lathes, Saws Molding & Casting 3D Printing & Scanning Machines 2D Cutting Machines Laser Cutter, Vinyl Cutter Circuits & Microcontrollers 2D/3D CNC Routing & Milling
    5. 5. What Can be Made in a Fablab? Musical instruments Furniture & household Art & jewellery Toys & games Electronic Devices Clothes & bags Bikes Confectionary Social & Environmental Inventions
    6. 6. Global Fablab Network Jalalabad - Afghanistan Pabal - India Sekondi-Takoradi - Ghana Lyngen - Norway
    7. 7. Manchester!
    8. 8. Open Manufacture? <ul><li>Digital </li></ul><ul><li>Global design – local manufacture </li></ul>Iceland Ghana Physical
    9. 9. Global Solutions <ul><li>Means of invention to all </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation at the point of need </li></ul><ul><li>Bespoke manufacture </li></ul><ul><li>Interconnected through internet and video conferencing </li></ul><ul><li>Global knowledge & skill base </li></ul>
    10. 10. BioGas Plant - India Creating electricity from cow dung!
    11. 11. FabFi - Afghanistan <ul><li>Wireless broadband networks across the Jalalabad –Hospital, library, public buildings, etc </li></ul>
    12. 12. Low Energy Lighting - Kenya Multi-LED lighting – designed in Cleveland, Ohio
    13. 13. Prosthetic Limbs – India Waag Society – Fablab Amsterdam researching low-cost scanning and prosthetic limb manufacture
    14. 14. UK’s 1 st Fablab in Manchester <ul><li>When? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jan/Feb 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharp project – East Manchester </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. How Will it Work? <ul><li>Collaborative innovation projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Open innovation competitions </li></ul><ul><li>Skills training programmes – Fab Academy & smaller programmes </li></ul><ul><li>Schools events – enterprise challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Small company workshops – product design </li></ul><ul><li>Community use – personal and group </li></ul>
    16. 16. Contact Details <ul><li>Eddie Kirkby – [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Haydn Insley – [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Web: </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: http:// </li></ul>
    17. 17. <ul><li>Thank you for listening! </li></ul><ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>