Imagine if you had the tools to build almost anything you wanted. One MIT physicist has figured out how to fit four tools into one small space, so people can do just that. He calls it a “Fab Lab” and, with help from the National Science Foundation, he has created 35 of them. They can bring relatively sophisticated design and manufacturing capability to people around the world who otherwise couldn’t afford it. At last count they were in use on three different continents, helping to create everything from critical infrastructure to simple art work. In Afghanistan, fab lab users are making antenna parts for a new cell network. In South Africa, they used the fab labs to invent energy devices that create power from dung! In Norway, fab labs helped create devises to remove oil from salt water and even to make molds for chocolate bars. In Boston, a community center is using a fab lab to create benches and other items for community parks. Currently they are looking at how to use the fab labs to create more labs!
Provided by the National Science Foundation
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