Fab labs provide widespread access to modern means for invention. They began as an outreach project from MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA). CBA assembled millions of dollars in machines for research in digital fabrication, ultimately aiming at developing programmable molecular assemblers that will be able to make almost anything. Fab labs fall between these extremes, comprising roughly fifty thousand dollars in equipment and materials that can be used today to do what will be possible with tomorrow’s personal fabricators.
Fab labs have spread from inner-city Boston to rural India, from South Africa to the North of Norway. Activities in fab labs range from technological empowerment to peer-to-peer project-based technical training to local problem-solving to small-scale high-tech business incubation to grass-roots research. Projects being developed and produced in fab labs include solar and wind-powered turbines, thin-client computers and wireless data networks, analytical instrumentation for agriculture and healthcare, custom housing, and rapid-prototyping of rapid-prototyping machines.
FireStarter FAB LAB is also a member of the United State FAB LAB network:
The USFLN is a connected network of Fab Labs who exchange knowledge, ideas, and resources to collectively empower people of all ages and backgrounds to experiment and invent new products to solve real world problems at local, national, and global levels.
Our Vision:The USFLN will be known as a robust community of Fab Labs who have dramatically advanced interest and participation in science and technology careers, collectively created a new generation of entrepreneurs, inventors and artisans; and proactively reunited education and training, art and the artisan, industrial production, and personal expression nation-wide, – all contributing to the resurgence of American innovation.
More Media on Fab Labs:
Fab Labs spread across US
MIT Fab Lab Central: http://fab.cba.mit.edu/
MIT Fab Lab FAQ: http://fab.cba.mit.edu/about/faq/
Wikipedia Fab Lab article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fab_lab
Fab Lab web-tools for sharing and social networking: http://www.fabfolk.com