TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 31, (PIA) –Through the wonders of tele-conferencing, Bohol fabrication laboratory (fab-lab) successfully assembled its second three-dimensional (3D) printer, which will add more capacity for local fabricators aiming to mass produce their developed products
Bohol fablab technicians have only to be mentored by sister fablab technicians in Japan, and using the wonders of tele-conferencing and the Bohol fablab real time communication facility, local assembly team would only need to follow realtime instructions from Japan, according to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Bohol sources.
Both 3D printer and the tele-conferencing equipment are among the many state of the art equipment made available to Bohol fab-lab, the first and the only one as yet in the country.
An idea hatched at the science and technology research hub- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the fablabs began as an outreach program for MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), according to Japan International Cooperation Agency, among the Bohol fablab initiators.
CBA accordingly 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”.
Bohol fablab is a collaboration project of the JICA, The Philippine Government through the Department of Science and Technology, DTI and Bohol Island State University, where it is now housed.
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.
Fab labs share core capabilities, so that people and projects can be shared across them. This currently includes: A computer-controlled laser cutter, for press-fit assembly of 3D structures from 2D parts, a larger (4'x8') numerically-controlled milling machine, for making furniture- (and house-) sized parts, signcutter, to produce printing masks, flexible circuits, and antennas, a precision (micron resolution) milling machine to make three-dimensional molds and surface-mount circuit boards, programming tools for low-cost high-speed embedded processors,
Aside from the 3D printer, Bohol fablab has the following specific equipment and tools: laser cutters, big and small milling machines, test equipment, print and cut machine, scroll saw, embroidery machines, and LED TV for video conferencing, among others.
These equipment works with components and materials optimized for use in the field, are controlled with custom software for integrated design, manufacturing, and project management.
This inventory is accordingly continuously evolving, towards the goal of a fab lab being able to make another fab lab, MIT said. (RAC/PIABohol)