Fab4Dev - Fabrication for Development
We believe open source knowledge and digital fabrication can serve as a platform for empowerment and life improvement since it enables local production of solutions a certain community needs as well as it lowers the entry barrier into manufacturing for small local businesses. We plan to run several pilot projects to establish a good practice for setting up local digital fabrication capabilities for production of useful, life improving products in underserved areas.
As explained in the blog post about our plans for GoodEnoughCNC – we want to pick 7 projects solving specific challenges and optimize them for local digital manufacturing, showing the power of affordable digital manufacturing tools, with a final goal of establishing local islands of digital fabrication, empowering (also underserved) communities around the world for making. But we can achieve this only in collaboration with partners, who have the extensive knowledge and experience from the field and the communities themselves, with us being a technology development partner.
To help us think about possible use cases we prepared a wireframe. However, we don’t want to limit ourselves at this point. That’s why we’re asking organizations, active in the field, to provide us with feedback about the challenges in their community. If they don’t have enough understanding of local needs, we encourage them to organize a local hackhaton or a similar event, where they can together with their community identify the most concerning problems, which could be tackled with digital fabrication. The goal at this stage is to really come up with the right projects, to then develop them further in the next stages.
The challenges with examples of open hardware solutions, which could be manufactured locally with digital fabrication:
Since we’ll be picking useful, life improving solutions and extensively document the manufacturing workflow, we expect that the same set up as in our pilots could be replicated on other locations, ensuring scalability of our project.
We understand that fablabs and open source technology itself cannot solve all problems underserved communities face, but we believe they have the potential to strengthen local innovation eco-systems since they offer specific technological infrastructure that supports manufacturing of useful products, contextualized innovation and a custom approach to local challenges, which reflect the ideas, designs, and needs of their makers.
At this stage we invite everyone interested in getting involved to: