Jun 13

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly

Review of Gershenfeld's Fab on Slashdot

Someone who heard a podcast of Neil Gershenfeld's eTech talk then went out and bought his book, Fab. Gershenfeld is the director of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms, where he teaches a course called "How to Make (almost) Anything." As you know from O'Reilly's new Make magazine, we're closely following hardware hacking and what we're now calling the maker movement. The work that Neil is doing is at the bleeding edge of that movement. We're setting up our own Fab Lab in conjunction with Squid Labs, which is populated by former Gershenfeld associates, so you'll be hearing more about personal fabrication in future issues of Make.

From the review:

Gershenfeld describes the current state of personal fabrication tools and the surprising impact that these tools have when made available to everybody from MIT students to villagers in India in the form of Fab Labs.

Gershenfeld asserts that personal fabrication tools are developing along a path very similar to the one taken by computers. Computers were once large, expensive, complicated machines accessible only to skilled operators. Now they are much more accessible and have evolved to the point that most people can make use of them to some degree. Machine tools, at best, are still at the mainframe-stage of evolution but that is changing rapidly. What happens when machine-building machines, which can manipulate atoms and molecules, are as accessible as computers are today?

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Comments: 2

  Glen Murphy [06.14.05 01:33 AM]

At the time of writing (this comment), there was no link to the Slashdot article on this page, so here you go:

Note from Tim: thanks for the catch. Added link up above!

  Alexander Muse [06.14.05 07:34 AM]

I got the book shortly after reading a Business Week review of the book. Very interesting stuff. Frustrated there is not more...

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