Fab Lab, a digital Fabrication Laboratory, is a physical space located in the School of Art and Design at LJMU. The school provides access to tools for students and staff to educate, innovate and invent using technology and digital fabrication to allow anyone to make almost anything.
The lab capabilities include: 3D printing, CNC Milling Machine, Circuit Production, Laser Cutting/Engraving, Precision Milling, and Vinyl Plotter - all very interesting and complex processes.
After a session of 3D printing at FACT, the Digital Ambassadors group and Liz Wewiora (FACT's Communities Curator Producer) were invited to LJMU's Fab Lab for a session with Lawrence Baker who manages the space.
Following a friendly introduction, explaining the purpose and workings of the lab, we had a very interesting question and answer period between Lawrence and ourselves, which led to us discovering that there are many fab labs around the world. We learnt that 3D printing has been developing since the 1980s, with advancements happening especially at M.I.T (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) playing a key role in its increased use and capabilities.
Despite this, and the fact that the amazing number and intricate shapes that can be produced seems endless, there does not yet seem to be a commercial production line, even though the potential is huge. However, one seems to be taking shape at last, and in the medical profession providing a transformation in the diagnosis of problems with human organs without surgery is already under way.
A really interesting day with thanks to Lawrence and Liz, the group look forward to further visits to the Fab Lab, where we will be returning in August to create our own 3D printing objects.
Interested in getting involved? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or read more about FACTLab at FACT here.