Maker Night Fabbing Intro


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A brief introduction to digital fabrication. Slides from my lightning talk on the subject at Maker Night in Liverpool.

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  • A brief run through some of the digital fabrication techniques and examples of them
  • This is a Makerbot Cupcake. It’s an open-source 3D printer – a device that skims across an area spitting out tiny blobs of molten plastic. Once it’s finished one layer it moves up a fraction of a millimetre and prints the next layer, slowly building up a 3D object out of plastic.
  • Laser cutting creates things in the opposite way – using a laser to cut away the bits you don’t want. You can use it to etch designs as well as cut, but it’s mainly used for cutting out 2D patterns in sheets of plastic or wood
  • CNC milling (and it turns out this picture isn’t really a CNC mill, as it looks like it only moves in two dimensions) uses a drill bit to carve away material to leave a 3D object behind
  • You don’t always need to own these machines yourself. Services like shapeways will let you upload a 3D design file and have it printed out in a range of materials and colours.
  • And services like Thingiverse let people share design files so you might not even need to design the thing you want – find the file on Thingiverse, upload it to Shapeways and wait for it to arrive in the post...
  • Ponoko is taking this to a further step and allowing people to upload plans for items that are part laser-cut, part-3D printed, and part electronics. They do all the cutting, printing, etc. for you and ship it to you or someone who’s bought it from your online Ponoko store.
  • There are even some fun machines like this Egg-Bot, which is a computer-controlled plotter for spherical objects 
  • This takes weather data for wherever you live and turns it into jewellery. The peaks and troughs correspond to the max/min temperatures each day for the previous year, and the holes are proportional to the rainfall that week.
  • The Data Decs take elements of your online life and translate them into Christmas tree decorations. The 3D printed snowman has a head proportional to the number of people you follow on Twitter, a body proportional to the number of followers you have, and a button for each year you’ve used the service; the cloud shows your distance travelled (tracked via Dopplr) each month; the red decoration visualises your listening habits and the blue “star” the aperture settings on your photos from Flickr.
  • Maker Night Fabbing Intro

    1. 1. Maker Night Adrian McEwen - Digital Fabbing
    2. 2. Using a computer to design & fabricate things Adrian McEwen - Digi-what?!? 3D printing Laser cutting CNC milling
    3. 3. 3D Printing Adrian McEwen - Photo credit:
    4. 4. Laser Cutting Adrian McEwen - Photo credit:
    5. 5. CNC Milling Adrian McEwen - Photo credit:
    6. 6. 3D Printing By Post Adrian McEwen -
    7. 7. Share Designs Adrian McEwen -
    8. 8. Ship Bits Not Atoms Adrian McEwen -
    9. 9. Egg-bot Adrian McEwen -
    10. 10. Make Your Own Lego Adrian McEwen -
    11. 11. iPhone Bumpers Adrian McEwen -
    12. 12. Lightpoem Adrian McEwen -
    13. 13. Weather Data Bracelet Adrian McEwen -
    14. 14. Laser-cut Clothing Adrian McEwen -
    15. 15. Personalised Christmas Decorations Adrian McEwen -
    16. 16. Thank You. Any Questions? <ul><li>MCQN Ltd website: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Or email </li></ul><ul><li>My Personal Blog: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Or on twitter I’m @amcewen </li></ul>Adrian McEwen -