Fabbaloo tracks developments in Fabbing, 3D Printing and Desktop Manufacturing. We believe in a future where everyone can easily make any 3D objects by using inexpensive desktop equipment, much like we use inkjet printers today for two-dimensional paper objects. It's also known as Desktop Manufacturing, Rapid Prototyping or Digital Manufacturing. We call it Fabbing.
This is gradually becoming possible through the technology of 3D printing.
This technology will change much of how people view manufacturing. Consider the sequence of events today to use an item: a design team creates an object, which is then manufactured in a far-away factory. Items are physically shipped from the factory to a distribution center, where they await customer orders. Upon order receipt, the item is shipped typically to a retail location, where it sits again until a buyer finally picks it up off the shelf and transports it home, where it can be used.
This could change significantly in the future: A design team creates an object, but merely stores the 3D design in an online repository. The client purchases access to the design and loads it into an in-home 3D printer. The printer reproduces the object to the specifications in the 3D design and the object can be used.
The implications of this concept are breathtaking. Significant transport reductions are possible as well as delivery speed. People’s view on shopping may change to a more instantaneous purchase/print mode. Internet-based collaboration systems will permit a cottage industry of design to emerge, providing unimaginable products for near instant use.
Not only will objects be possible to produce on such devices, but food as well. Many food items are simply physical arrangements of ingredients, and this will be quite possible to prepare using standard or modified 3D printing devices. Just as highly complex objects can be printed, so can normally impossible food items to produce with traditional approaches.
Do you think this is exciting? We certainly do. So much so that we report new developments that contribute to this fantastic future every day. Join our readers to see the future unfold!
Fabbaloo is written (mostly) by Canadian Kerry Stevenson, who has been fascinated with 3D printing after seeing the idea introduced by Star Trek many years ago - and is now seeing it become a reality. He's been writing in Fabbaloo since October 2007 under the mysterious pseudonym "General Fabb".