Maine group creating "FabLab" for 3D printing, laser processing

MaineFabLab_BNAS_315523_266682286703897_712139730_n_160width

Brunswick, ME - A group of laser and 3D fabrication enthusiasts are seeking to bring a maker space to a former Naval Air Station in Brunswick, ME, with the goal of spurring innovation and increasing interest in STEM education (science, technology, engineering, math).

The Maine FabLab will be part of the MIT FabLab network founded by Neil Gershenfeld (he's also director of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms MIT and director of the Fab Academy), with capabilities including open-source high-resolution 3D printing, micromachining, and other advanced technologies. The Maine FabLab group also involves Sarah Boisvert, cofounder of Potomac Photonics Inc. and a Fellow (and former president) of the Laser Institute of America (LIA).

The concept comes from the emergence and proliferance of high-tech tools such as 3D printers and laser machining workstations, and expertise in the design and production processes. Lasers and 3D printing have taken hold in various industries from auto to healthcare and medical devices (implants, stents) to aerospace (turbine blades and components, rocket engine parts) and jewelry. Proponents see an approaching future where such technologies and processes gain adoption at a smaller consumer scale enabling "mass customization."

The goal of the Maine FabLab is to locate a site at Brunswick Landing, the decommissioned Naval Air Station which was a local fixture (and economic supporter) for more than 60 years, and is now undergoing redevelopment by regional economic authorities. Initial equipment for the FabLab is expected to include a CO2 laser cutter & marker, UV laser micromachining workstation, and high-precision 3D printer. A staff of technicians, operators and senior designers will help users to develop their prototypes, and fees will be paid for level and length of design support, amount of materials used, etc. -- but the FabLab will be open access, and free to Maine students K-Ph.D. It also will offer workshops and classes, and foster sharing of ideas, capabilities, and concepts.

To create the FabLab, the group is turning to Crowdfunding -- seeking to raise $100,000 by Dec. 8 in a first phase of funding. A second phase would then bring in higher-precision equipment. The project is launching with a Kickstarter-style campaign with sales of FabLab items and experiences, but of course straightforward cash contributions are also happily accepted (and, minus the cost of rewards, they are tax-deductible.) Visit the Maine FabLab's Web site to learn more and participate.

Subscribe to ILS: www.industrial-lasers.com/subscribe.html
Track
ILS online: www.industrial-lasers.com
Follow
ILS on Twitter: @ILS_for_MFG
Like
ILS on Facebook: Industrial Laser Solutions for Manufacturing

ILS Blogs

David Belforte
David Beleforte

Let's grow LME

Mon Apr 22 08:51:00 CDT 2013

Looked at manufacturing lately?

Wed Mar 20 09:57:00 CDT 2013

Industrial laser market meets forecast

Fri Mar 08 10:59:00 CST 2013

Photonics West features ultra-fast and fiber lasers

Mon Feb 18 13:31:00 CST 2013

Follow us at Join us on

Twitter - Industrial Laser Solutions

RELATED PRODUCTS

There is no current content available.

See Article Archive

View Industrial Laser Solutions past articles.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Copyright © 2007-2014. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS