Personalization of Fabrication

I really liked Neil Gershenfeld‘s book FAB, which talks about the personalization of fabrication. This book discusses a trend in which the power to fabricate things shifts from specialized factories to personal fabrication. Imagine having a small factory sitting on your desk that churns out real-life functional objects, combining construction material with electronics and other components to make a real functioning object. But most of all I was amazed by the altruistic approach Neil takes in setting up fablabs, small shops able to create almost anything, using technology that is available now like lasercutters, PCB etching machines, CNC routers, 3D plotters and more. These fablabs are in fact high technological learning and self-teaching centers that bring the power to make life-saving contraptions to poor areas in the world. As an example, in the book he discusses a small microcontroller project to test the fat level in milk, so mothers can check the milk they need to raise their children, because local farmers dilute the milk with water…