Fab labs: innovative user by Morel, Laure

By Morel, Laure

The electronic economic system is now increasing quickly, and is beginning to overturn the prior achievements of the commercial Revolution. in the beginning accomplishing the realm of providers, it really is now turning to the manufacture of gadgets. simply as microcomputing developed from huge scale computing to extra own use, and because the net left at the back of the area of armies and universities to develop into common, commercial construction is progressively turning into without delay managed through members. This appropriation is being performed both on a private point, or, extra considerably, inside of neighborhood or planetary groups: Fab Labs.

These electronic fabrication laboratories provide workshops to individuals of the general public the place all kinds of instruments can be found (including 3D printers, laser cutters and sanders) for the layout and production of custom-made objects.  The bringing jointly of assorted clients (amateurs, designers, artists, “dabblers”, etc.) and percentages for collaboration lies on the middle of those open-access efficient areas.


This e-book covers a number advances during this new own fabrication and numerous concerns that it has raised, specifically when it comes to the choices to salaried paintings, highbrow estate, ecological openings and the hitherto unseen structuring of societies.


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The goal is to share and pool technical know-how by and within the entire community. The website was launched in 2003 at the initiative of a group of students who needed to repair an old I-Book for which there were no repair instructions or spare parts. They began by buying used I-Books on eBay and then they created step-by-step repair instructions, by integrating images and videos that are easy to grasp for people who have no technical knowledge. Today, thousands of engineers and computer enthusiasts share their experience, knowledge and tips to repair any type of device, whether old or new.

This results from the fact that, for reasons desired or not by companies, for many products, it is impossible to find satisfactory answers from after-sales services. It is therefore possible, through this initiative, to find both the instructions to change the battery of an iPhone and to repair an electronic failure in a car or a household appliance. People belonging to a community of innovator-users are inspired by others, but at the same time, they can directly take other people’s solutions and modify them to create new ones.

An experimental study by Ludwig et al. [LUD 15] on the use of 3D printing in two Fab Labs concluded that although there are clear signals of a process of democratization of digital manufacturing technologies, tools now available as open source (software and machines) still have a long way to go before their ownership and generalization become widespread. Fab Labs: Observations on a Topical Phenomenon 45 For the 3D printer, ownership is less obvious than it seems. Indeed, a successful 3D print is highly dependent on context, which confronts the user with a very high probability of problems or printing failure.

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