Today at FAB12 in Shenzhen, where the theme is FabLab 2.0, Bart Bakker was on stage about miniFabLab 2.0 and announced the $2k FabLab.
One educational aim of FabLab is to get people on the learning curve of digital fabrication.
Fabfoundation.org states: ‘…bringing digital fabrication tools and processes to people of all ages, teaching the skills and knowledge of digital fabrication’
Fablabs are the vehicles to achieve that. They cost money.
Neil Gershenfeld uses the ‘Power of Ten’ metaphor.
$ 1000K for his megafablab at MIT
$ 100k for a standard inventory CBA.MIT.EDU fablab
$ 10k is Bart Bakker’s miniFabLab.
$ 1K is not there.
Make it 2K and you can soon have a real FabLab for education.
So not just for fostering creativity as you see in many library makerspace setups.
But to really get on the learning curve of digital fabrication.
The 2k fablab will sport the same tools as a big fablab: lasercutter, vinylcutter/plotter, 3D printer and electronics workbench.
For starters it is reasonable to omit the mill/router, let them first get on the learning curve with the other tools. But if you want one, it will be a 2.7k fablab
This is what a $2K FabLab could look like:
Emblaser2 5W diode class 1 Lasercutter ($1299) (dec 2016)
Silhouette Portrait (€179) cutter/plotter
XYZ MiniMaker $230 (oct 2016)
Tools and electronics: from IKEA scissors to €20 soldering stations, MakeyMakeys and Scratch/mBot (~€300)
Same functionality as a 10k fablab, just smaller.
Of course we will test its quality and wether it fits in the upcoming SLADDA Urban Makercart