Fab Lab: How to Make (Almost) Anything

WED, MAR 10, 2010 (1:10:53)

Fab Lab creator and MIT physicist Neil Gershenfeld offers a look at how personal fabrication is ushering in a revolution in do-it-yourself design and manufacturing.

Give ordinary people the right tools, and they will design and build the most extraordinary things. That’s the idea behind Fab Labs, which provide access to prototype tools for personal fabrication—helping citizen inventors turn their dreams into reality. Fab Labs have spread from their start in inner-city Boston to the bottom of Africa and the top of Norway, with projects tackling applications in areas including healthcare, agriculture, housing, and communications.

+ BIO: Neil Gershenfeld

Neil Gershenfeld is the director of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms and heads the Media Lab's Physics & Media research group. His unique laboratory investigates the relationship between the content of information and its physical representation, from molecular quantum computers to virtuosic musical instruments. Technology from his lab has been seen and used in settings including New York's Museum of Modern Art, rural Indian villages, the White House/Smithsonian Millennium celebration, automobile safety systems, the World Economic Forum, inner-city community centers, Las Vegas shows, and Sami reindeer herds.

He is the author of numerous technical publications, patents, and books including Fab, When Things Start To Think, The Nature of Mathematical Modeling, and The Physics of Information Technology, and has been featured in media such as The New York Times, The Economist, CNN, and the McNeil/Lehrer News Hour.

Gershenfeld has a BA in physics with high honors from Swarthmore College, a PhD from Cornell University, was a junior fellow of the Harvard University Society of Fellows, and a member of the research staff at Bell Labs.

Museum of Science, Boston