Even though it doesn’t have a lot to do with the “Maker-Movement” per se, I’d still like to talk about another quite amazing service.
Let’s take a look at the concept of shapeways.com for a second. The special thing (besides the whole 3D printing magic) is all the service around it. The company lets you upload a file and takes care of all the procurement, production, shop and logistics, which enables you to focus on the design only. Even if you do not want to sell your stuff, it is still a huge thing, because it gives you access to production techniques you wouldn’t have access to otherwise.
Shapeways does that for 3D printing, but last time we talked about the Vynil cutter and that you can create cool T-Shirts with it, so let’s take a short detour in that direction.
Its Wednesday again people!
And we are continuing our weekly ritual of taking a Workshop at the local Fabrication Laboratory. This week’s attraction: The Vynil Cutter!
It is a beauty. Kind of.
Its purpose is quickly explained, cut some foil following a Vector, a path. The reason for me even mentioning that it cuts along a Vector is for you to understand what that actually means.
So yesterday was my first visit to a “Fab Lab”.
“How was it?” – you zero readers of this blog ask. (I don’t have a problem talking to myself, doing it all the time anyways =) )
First thing you’ll notice is that it is not as shiny as the pictures on the website suggest. But thats actually a good thing, it means that people are actually working there, not just staring at the machines. There is architects Laser Cutting their projects for University, there is something “baking” in the 3D-Printer for the next 6 hours, and someone is working on the CNC-Machine, I could not figure out what he was working on, but he made something!
So how do you start? Do they just let you go berzerk on these expensive machines and hurt yourself?
Quite the rhetorical question eh?
First of all, a bunch of surprisingly quiet and shy people gathered up right after the entrance, made up from all kinds of people.
I saw two 16-year-olds, a couple art and engineering students, and some “home-improvers” or DIY-ers that were 50 years plus old.
Next, we got a tour of the “Fab Lab”, which ended with me signing on to it of course.
Next thing right after signing on was the first of a series of what they call “Workshops”.