Jan.30, 2013

A week ago we reported "FabCafe" in Shibuya, Tokyo was organizing a workshop to offer women a chance to make 3D chocolates modeled from their own face using 3D scanner and 3D printer. That was one of the interesting gatherings offered by FabCafe to fabricate your creations with digital tools.

FabCafe is located in the busiest area in Tokyo, the center of Shibuya, an area overflowing with youthful energy. "Fab", the "fabrication revolution" movement has been spreading around the world, FabCafe is a space where people can enjoy making things, have a cup of coffee in an exciting environment furnished with a variety of digital fabrication tools, including 3D printers and laser cutters.

Last month, on Dec.22, a dozen young people gathered at FabCafe to create a collaborative artwork, using a range of digital tools including 3D printers, laser cutter and 3D scanner.

This event "Think3D project workshop '2nugear'" was organized by FabCafe operator Loftwork and designer Kota Nezu from K's Design Lab, which has a 3D printer showroom in the same building. Each of the participants was required to created a small object of their own.

Some participants made a full body scan of themselves and printed out a 3D miniature; others started with paper and pen, modelled it in 3D modeling software and had it 3D printed out.

In the video below, Maki Murakami, 33, created her first 3D printed Ferris' wheel.

(Maki Murakami) seemed at a loss at first. When you are not particularly art-inclined and are suddenly given freedom to draw "anything," it's perhaps only natural to feel that way. Soon afterward, though, she was struck with an idea, and started drawing what looked like a simplified version of a Ferris' wheel, which she then managed to turn into a 3-D image using a modeling software called FreeForm. After that, a staffer wearing a FabCafe T-shirt copied her design to a USB memory-stick to transfer the data to a 3D printer the size of a small fridge. Then — whoa! — in about half an hour, a red plastic object in the shape of Murakami's Ferris wheel, popped out.

"It's amazing to see my idea take on an actual shape," Murakami, who works as a fashion model, commented. "I drew something for the first time in a long time. I even find the machine (3-D printer) adorable."

3D printing is becoming popular in Japan. Japanese maker Hot Proceed launched entry-level Blade-1 DIY 3D printer last year in Japan for 136,500 yen (1,642 USD). Meanwhile companies like Incs Inc., have started to provide 3D printing services to companies and individuals. In 1990 INCS began prototyping services using an SLA systems from 3D systems. Up to now INCS has 32 3D printers in-house, mostly professional 3D printers costing ¥100 million each.

Yano Research Institute estimates that the Japan market for 3D printers could reach ¥7.7 billion in 2015. Hobbyists are working to make 3D printers available to the masses, and public interest in the technology is rising. Still, many amateur creators in Japan need to refine their 3D design skills.

FabCafe has been hosting a series of 3-D printing workshops since it opened in October, and these workshops get really popular with young people. Kazue Nakata, a spokeswoman for Loftwork, which operates the Shibuya cafe, says that spaces for the firm's hands-on seminars are typically gone within a few hours of being announced on the cafe's website.

At the end of the FabCafe workshop, all the participants had their objects printed out. Nezu asked everyone to put their creations on a few laser-cut cogs and then turned one of them. "As the cogs started turning so too did the objects placed on top, as if they were dancing on a carousel." Everyone was excited when seeing their creation come to life.

(Image credit: Japan Times)

"Japan's large-scale manufacturers are having various problems, but rather than 'top down', this 'bottom up' movement could raise the bar among the grassroots 'maker' and help Japan's manufacturers revive and filly realize their potential. I hope these fun exchanges will help boost Japan's manufacturing industry - like cogwheels working together." says the designer Nezu in the video.

Likewise, Yuji Hara, president of K's Design Lab, which runs the digital equipment showroom, said he was pleased with the level of excitement the workshop galvanized.

"In the future, we want to create opportunities for ordinary people to share their 3-D creations — and even trade them with others," he said.


Source: Japan Time






Posted in Fablab


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