announcing the nomadic FabLab!


Source: Matt Jones, photo by Matt Biddulph, lasercutter courtesy Umeå Institute of Design, Moleskine: model’s own. [image cc licensed A:NC:SA]

I have some fab (teehee) news! reallybigroadtrip is going to be a nomadic FabLab!

Some of you will understand exactly what I mean without me needing to say another word, but others will be thinking “WTF is she going on about?!”. This is why I didn’t just tweet it last night; I wanted to explain…

FabLab is short for “fabrication lab”. It was established by those brilliant brains at MIT’s Centre for Bits & Atoms (coz geeks use all the coolest words) to explore rapid manufacturing things like laser cutting and 3D Printing. There are now over a hundred of these labs all over the world.

Our closest one, in New Zealand, is hosting the International FabLab forum next week… and one is launching in Adelaide later this year!

That’s exciting enough… but it gets better…

Since Australia is such a big country, the wonderful folk at ANAT (and their awesome partners at DFEEST‘s Digital Economy & Technology department) have been looking at how to make this Adelaide-base more accessible to regional and remote Australia.

So… reallybigroadtrip is now the official nomadic FabLab! I’ll get a Makerbot (3D printer) of my own to drive around the country for people to use, and I’ll be sharing info about what these fabrication tools are capable of. Any of the awesome brains who come over to the Aussie FabLab HQ will have the option to come out to be Nomads in Residence with me. Whatever kit is available via the HQ can be accessed via me too – to if it’s portable I can tour it and if it’s not I can be the access point to send designs through and get the finished results shipped out.

Since wherever the bus goes I will be meeting like-minded folks, learning from them and sharing the word of geek, we’ll end up with lots and lots of little hubs of nerd, all over the country! Just imagine how much of a happy bunny I am right now!

So… who wants to play?

UPDATE April 2013:

20 comments » Write a comment

    • Hi Moira, thank you! although, hehe, it’s not quite an achievement *yet*… gimme a year or so, though, and then we’ll see :)

        • well, i’ve got some money toward the purchase/modification of the bus, and some freelance clients on crossover projects that enable me to trust i can make the rest work financially… somehow… But it’s not all safe and easy yet. Hoping it’ll build its own momentum once we get going, but nothing’s ever safe, not in a creative sector in this climate. Eek!

    • what about the fabfablab “fabulous fabrication laboratory”? that makes it sound like the “marvellous mechanical mouse organ” ;P

  1. @feesable what are you going to make with the 3D printer? Made in instalments one part at a time finishin as a croud sourced . . . . ?

    • anyone can make (almost) anything! a crowdsourced project could be interesting, tho it could get really tricky compiling designs since everyone would likely be using a different CAD system… maybe something to try once I’m better at 3D printing! the idea here is really that everywhere i go people can have a play, either just printing a design from or using (or equivalent) to make their own design and then print it on ‘my’ machine. if they were already experts but didn’t have access to a printer then they can just bring their designs and print them out. if they want to make/print something at a higher resolution than the machine i carry around then i can coordinate sending that to the HQ where there will be a larger machine. hurrah for geekery!

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