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Self-Service Innovation

April 6, 2005

A recent issue of The Economist reports on the FabLab, “a collection of commercially available machines that can…, according to its inventor, be used to make just about anything with features bigger than those of a computer chip.” The inventor, Dr. Neil Gershenfeld, the director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Bits and Atoms, wants to make the Fab Lab available to inventors in poor countries so they can build those widgets they’ve been dreaming of making.
fablab.gif
A FabLab Component
The Economist goes on to provide success stories: “In Takoradi, Ghana, people have used the labs to produce a cassava grinder, jewellery, car parts, agricultural tools and communication equipment such as radio antennas.”
Well, we don’t think the VCs will go out of business at the hands of the FabLab – the cassava grinder business doesn’t “scale” – but it’s a cool concept nevertheless. We hope Dr. Gershenfeld finds some benefactors to make the FabLab more readily available.
Read: Fabulous Fabrications – [The Economist]
Read: FabLab Homepage – [MIT.edu]
Read: FabLab Report on Ghana – [MIT.edu]

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 22, 2006 2:03 am

    Edmonton dominated the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night and the 4-0 margin in Game 6 makes it hard to imagine the Oilers not hoisting hockey’s Holy Grail above their heads in less than 48 hours. And it would not come as any shock to see defenseman Chris Pronger, who had another 31-minute night, take the honors for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP.

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