Tag Archives: fab lab

Top 3D Printing News Last Week: Fashion, Fab Lab, Pricing, iPhone

3D Printing News

3D Printing News

A roundup of the top 3D printing news from March 25 to March 31:

National Fab Lab Network Act Promotes 3D Printing and Manufacturing


Originally conceived by Neil Gershenfeld at MIT, a Fab Lab is a self-contained lab that has about $20,000 in equipment – a laser cutter, milling machine, programming tools, and of course, 3D printing. We regularly feature Fab Labs across the globe that are empowering people to make almost anything that suits their personal needs.

This month, Congressman Bill Foster introduced the National Fab Lab Network Act of 2013, which is intended to promote advanced manufacturing in the U.S. and invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. This is a great step forward in making amazing technologies like 3D printing more readily available.

The bill lists the following motivations for the introduction of the Fab Lab Network:

(1) Scientific discoveries and technical innovations are critical to the economic and national security of the United States.

(2) Maintaining the leadership of the United States in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics will require a diverse population with the skills, interest, and access to tools required to advance these fields.

(3) Just as earlier digital revolutions in communications and computation provided individuals with the Internet and personal computers, a digital revolution in fabrication will allow anyone to make almost anything, anywhere.

(4) The Center for Bits and Atoms of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (CBA) has contributed significantly to the advancement of these goals through its work in creating and advancing digital fab labs in the United States and abroad.

(5) CBA’s fab labs provide a model for a new kind of national laboratory that links local facilities for advanced manufacturing to expand access and empower communities.

(6) A coordinated national public-private partnership will be the most effective way to accelerate the provision of this infrastructure for learning skills, developing inventions, creating businesses, and producing personalized products.

This bill would provide a Federal charter to the Fab Foundation for the National Fab Lab Network, a national network of local digital fabrication facilities providing community access to advanced manufacturing tools for learning skills, developing inventions, creating businesses, and producing personalized products.

You can track the bill at govtrack or download the bill in PDF.

Below is a video of Congressman Foster introducing the bill.

More on this announcement below:

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) introduced the National Fab Lab Network Act of 2013 to promote advanced manufacturing in the U.S. and invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. The bill is being introduced with bipartisan support from 15 original co-sponsors including Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14), Rep. Tom Massie (KY- 4), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD-08) and others.

Fab Labs are state-of-the-art fabrication laboratories available to the public throughout the country where children and adults can invent, design and manufacture products. The equipment can be used to design anything from tools to motors to data networks to artwork.

The first Fab Lab began as a project of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, and has expanded to more than 100 locations throughout the world. Read more about the project here.

“We have a great tradition of innovation in manufacturing in America. With a national network of Fab Labs we can empower and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators,” said Foster. “These labs help students build the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills they need to succeed in today’s global economy.”

The proposed legislation would create a nonprofit entity to establish a National Fab Lab network throughout the United States. This chartered status would be similar to the status enjoyed by the VFW and Little League Baseball.

The goal of the network will be to establish at least one Fab Lab for every 700,000 people, giving students throughout the country access to the tools and skills needed to bring their ideas to life. The legislation does not provide funding to the network, but seeks to provide the project with the recognition needed to grow and establish new centers throughout the country.

“As a manufacturer, businessman and a scientist I believe it’s critical that we provide the next generation with the skills to succeed in engineering and manufacturing and build the next generation of products, businesses and industries,” added Foster.

Original co-sponsors of the legislation include: Rep. Randy Hultgren [IL-14], Rep. Tom Massie [KY- 4], Rep. Chris Van Hollen [MD-08], Rep. Michael Capuano [MA-07], Rep. John Carney [DE], Rep. David Cicilline [RI-01], Rep. Gerald E. Connolly [VA-11], Rep. Danny K. Davis [IL-07], Rep. Dave Loebsack [IA-02], Rep. Betty McCollum [MN-04], Rep. Gary Peters [MI-14], Rep. Mark Pocan [WI-02], Rep. Bobby Rush [IL-01], Rep. Jan Schakowsky [IL-09], Rep. Carole Shea-Porter [NH-01].

Top 3D Printing News Last Week: Conference Discount, FabCafe, and IBM

Inside 3D Printing Conference

A roundup of the top 3D printing news from March 18 to March 24:

Featured Fab Lab: FabCafe, 3D Printing and Coffee in Tokyo

Featured Fab Lab: FabCafe Tokyo

Featured Fab Lab: FabCafe Tokyo

FabCafe is a space that conveys the FAB spirit in a fun, delicious and easy to understand way. In the center of Shibuya, an area overflowing with youthful energy, FabCafe provides a space where people can enjoy making things in an exciting environment furnished with a variety of digital fabrication tools, including a laser cutter and 3D printers.

More approachable than a Makerspace, FabCafe allows customers to rent the high tech equipment by the half-hour, and enjoy a coffee and snack while waiting for something to be fabricated.

Chiaki Hayashi and Mitsu Suwa opened this FabCafe in Tokyo, Japan last year, and there are plans to expand to Taipei and Barcelona this year. Tim Wong is partnering with Hayashi and Suwa to launch FabCafe in Taipei this coming May. As for the planning for FabCafe Barcelona, it is still in a very early stage and the effort is led by one of Tim’s friends locally in Barcelona.

Here is one of incredible projects that have come out of FabCafe: a 360 Panorama Book.

Featured Fab Lab: FabCafe Tokyo

Below is a video of customers participating in a workshop at the FabCafe’s CUBE area, where they can use 3D scanners and 3D design software.


Read more from our series of Featured Fab Labs.

Note: Article was updated to provide proper credit to Chiaki Hayashi and Mitsu Suwa for their founding of FabCafe Tokyo.

Top 3D Printing Headlines Last Week: Retail, Stem Cells, Piracy, NPR

Lunar Base 3D Printing

A roundup of the top news On 3D Printing brought you from February 5 to February 10:

Tuesday, February 5

Wednesday, February 6