From a mobile Humanitarian Fab Lab in refugee camps that uses laser cutting for building temporary housing to 3D Printing on the International Space Station, Digital Fabrication is changing almost every aspect of our lives. On March 30 and 31, 2017 at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, MA, visionaries at DigiFabCon will explore the opportunities and challenges found in bringing these CAD based technologies to new, exciting arenas. Whether for manufacturing workforce training, K – 12 education, rapid prototyping, re-designing standard products, improving surgical procedures, or fostering entrepreneurship, the tools of digital fabrication are impacting entire communities.
DigiFabCon will feature keynotes from Sherry Lassiter, Director of the Fab Foundation and Dale Dougherty, founder of Maker Media which includes MAKE: Magazine and Maker Faires. They will give an overview of the compelling digital fabrication stories from Fab Labs and makerspaces around the world. Dr. Neil Gershenfeld, Director of the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms, will discuss technical advances that are making digital fabrication tools accessible to “anyone who wants to make (almost) anything”. This includes work in his lab on Machines that Make Machines, although Dr. Gershenfeld always says the impact of these tools is social, not technical!
The interactive program includes:
- Sarah Boisvert, past President of LIA, describing a new national digital fabrication certification program for operators and technicians with a panel discussion with participants from Indian Hills Community College, the Community College of Baltimore Country, Century College and the Space Coast Fab Lab
- David Ott explaining the International Committee for the Red Cross Humanitarian Lab project
- Tomas Diez, from Fab Lab Barcelona, reporting on progress for self-sustainable Fab Cities
- Andreas Bastian, of Autodesk, sharing design challenges in the Enable Community Foundation 3D Printed prosthetic hand project
- A panel from Limitless Child International, Fab Lab Tulsa and Fab Lab San Diego on utilizing mobile fab labs to bring technology to rural and underserved areas.
- a participatory exercise by TIES fellows examining biomimicry in design
The program includes a Fab Festival where participants can get hands-on demos in 3D Printing, laser cutting, CNC machining, CAD and much more. Preliminary exhibitors include ShopBot Tools, the Roxbury Innovation Center, 3D Print Life, Limitless Child International, and Fab Lab Hub. The Festival will also feature book signings by Dale Dougherty, founder of Maker Media, and Rachel Ignotofsky author of Women in Science. Generous sponsorship from Chevron, Microsoft, and ShopBot Tools keeps DigiFabCon registration to just $49.
In this, DigiFabCon’s 5th year, a pre-conference short course has been added. LEAN 101 is a hands-on workshop to introduce manufacturing managers, startup founders and entrepreneurs, and makers to methods for improving time to market, production cost and product quality through a simulated, hands-on making exercise. Our instructors are LEAN gurus of the first rank. Joe Rizzo, CEO of Lean is Green, previously ran factories for GE when the legendary Jack Welsh was CEO and Scott Gauvin, CEO of Macresco, focuses on creating high performing, humanistic workplaces.
For details and to register, please go to www.DigiFabCon.org.