An open source app called Blender does the hard work of computing the relief’s geometry. Blender is used mostly by the animation film industry, and thanks to integrated scripting and robust physical simulation, it’s perfect for the project’s needs. Blender sends the data back to the 3dprinter on the FABMOBs rig where the model is immediately printed.
This simple solution has big ambitions: to develop a far reaching platform giving everybody, not just geeks, the opportunity to experiment with the potential of digital fabrication and environmental sensors. We want the platform to be capable of realizing any project that involves printing, sensors and the environment. If you’re an artist working on the bleeding edge, a serious Maker searching for inspiration for creative mashups, or a father and son (or mother and daughter) looking for interesting weekend projects for the 3d-printer that’s already sitting in your basement , FABMOBs will have a solution for you. We want to make the FABMOBs platform into a robust network that CAN make a difference in the 3Dprinting space.
Moving towards a pipeline architecture that’s similar to the rendering pipeline used by the movie industry, OpenFab is a streamlined process using fablets to specify changes in the material composition and geometry of each layer to be printed.
The bottleneck for the 3d-printing workflow is creating the digital model, the information necessary to specify that which is to be printed. Specialists working in 3d, using complex, arcane software to build these models, create simple interfaces for their customization. Model parameters specifying quantity (measurements, temperature…), quality and locational information can be added by technicians in the field using web services. These parameters are based on field measurements, 3d scans or photographs.
- **1984**, THE BIRTH OF 3D PRINTING: stereolithography enabled a tangible 3D object to be created from digital data, allowing users to test a design before investing in a larger manufacturing program.
- **1992**, LAYER BY LAYER: SLA (stereolithographic apparatus), a UV laser solidifying photopolymer, a liquid with the viscosity and color of honey that makes three-dimensional parts layer by layer. Complex parts can be manufactured overnight.
- **1999**, ENGINEERED ORGANS: The first lab-grown organ is implanted in humans using a 3-D synthetic scaffold coated with their own cells.
- **2005**, OPEN-SOURCE COLLABORATION & 3D PRINTING: RepRap is founded as an open-source initiative to build a 3D printer that can print most of its own components. The vision of this project is to democratize manufacturing by cheaply distributing RepRap units to individuals.
- **2008**, THE FIRST SELF-REPLICATING PRINTER: RepRap Project releases Darwin, the first self-replicating printer that is able to print the majority of its own components.
- **2008**, DIY CO-CREATION SERVICE LAUNCHES: Shapeways launches a private beta for a new co-creation service and community allowing artists, architects and designers to make their 3D designs as physical objects inexpensively.
- **2009**, BIOPRINTING: a 3D bioprinter to print the first blood vessel.