The Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab is a small-scale workshop for computer-based innovation, design and fabrication. The Fab Lab allows you to dream up, design and make almost anything you can imagine using open source software and DIY equipment.
The tools and materials section has been updated to reflect our current offerings. I've also made the example creations page a little friendlier.
Luke, you will be happy to know that all pictures are now hosted on the Fab Lab server.
The Fab Lab presented today at the 2013 University of Illinois Public Engagement Symposium. Thanks to Gary and MK Watson, Virginia McCreary, Andrew Knight and Jeff Ginger for showing the public some of our tools (live UP3D + Silhouette!), curriculum and collaborations. Additional thanks to everyone who stopped by to make something!
We would also like to extend our gratitude to the Office of Public Engagement for providing the grant that enabled the community Fab Lab installations at Stratton Elementary, Urbana Free Library and Tap In Leadership Academy.
A little over a year ago, 3D printing was a funky new technology that you might find at modestly sized booths in the basement level of the Las Vegas Convention Center at CES. Recently, President Obama mentioned it in the same breath as Apple and Intel during his State of the Union address, while talking about ways to create new jobs and manufacturing in the United States.
Read more on CNET:
Lawrence Bonassar and others have developed methods to 3d print human ears using actual live cartelidge mixture that congealed into an ear in 15 minutes. They tested it on rats and the ears were found to retain their shape and usability after a year and integrate into the rats. There is a potential for medical breathroughs but also the danger of abuse and misuse (looking at you Hollywood, and maybe Russia) but it leaves us feeling a bit earie
Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis has been doing research into using 3D printing technology to solve world problems, particularly housing in emergency situations and low-income environments. Watch the video and learn where home-construction might be going in the not-too-distant future.
I ran across this paper that explains one way to calculate support structures for 3D printing.
I found it relatively clear and easy to understand.
Of course, there are more than one way to skin this cat, so this isn't necessarily the way any given software works.
This is pretty cool:
Just a friendly reminder that the Fab Lab has 6 sewing and knitting machines of various sorts as well as unusual fabrics, like conductive and heat-reactive material. Come over and make good use of them in their new exapandable location in the break room.
We could use more patron-created art up on our walls. Anyone who provides us with some sizable art (or even interactive creations!) to put up will not only get mad props but also 5$ worth of material or laser time, courtesy of Jeff Ginger.
Photo credit to Gemma Petrie.
Have you ever just wished you could lift your pen off the paper and see your drawing become a real three dimensional object? The folks at WobbleWorks have created a 3D printer pen to do just this. Check it out:
Do you know what thermoplastics, edible materials, metal and titanium alloys, ceramic powders, plaster, paper, metal foil, plastic film, photopolymers, and liquid resins all have in common? They can all be used to print 3D objects. While the printers at the Champaign Urbana Community Fablab and the Urbana Free Library can only print using ABS plastic, there are commercial printers that can use all of the materials listed above. There are even companies that will print what you want, in whatever material you want. All you have to do is provide them with a 3D file of the object you would like to have printed.
When I was first told about the laser engraver I was told that I should always bring a PDF document to print. While looking through the epilogue website I see that you are supposed to be able to print in any format. Has anyone ever printed anything besides a PDF document? Would we have to set up the computer to do something different if we want to use a different file format? I am interested in printing some things that were drawn in autocad but am having a lot of trouble converting them to PDFs. I have scaling issues, and sometimes the drawings are just messed up once converted. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
The Creation Tech program at The Urbana Free Library has begun!
There will be a series of workshops in February and March. Check it out.