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Frequently Asked Questions



General

The Fab@Home is a machine that prints static and dynamic three-dimensional objects. it can print – for example – a miniature model of a space shuttle that you can hold in your hand, not a three-dimensional picture of it on a piece of paper. The purpose of the Fab@Home is to make real objects; the Fab@Home has printed a working flashlight.

Fab@Home is the printer’s official name. That said, Fab@Home can be understood to mean Fabber at Home. “Fabber” is short for a fabrication device. Fabbers are essentially miniature factories with the goal of custom fabrication of objects.

The Fab@Home builds objects layer by layer, using any material than can be squeezed through a syringe and holds its shape. Materials are hardened by drying, heating, UV light, and other methods as necessary.

The Fab@Home Team is the colloquial name for the group of individuals who are continuing the development of the Fab@Home at Cornell University, under the supervision of Professor Hod Lipson’s Cornell Computational Synthesis Laboratory . While we provide the server space and website maintenance, the team is highly dedicated to the Fab@Home and above all proud to be members of the Fab@Home Community, which includes all who wish to contribute.

The goals of the Fab@Home project are first and foremost to facilitate the democratization of innovation by giving each household the ability to physically create their ideas.In order to achieve this objective, we are improving the Fab@Home itself, diversifying the materials with which the Fab@Home works

The Fab@Home can produce nearly any static or dynamic object out of materials that can be deposited through a syringe. Right now, you can create miniature models, custom food products, and items that have electrical parts. Look at the projects page to see what has already been accomplished and what the community is working on. The Fab@Home Community is dedicated to improving the practical applications of the Fab@Home.

Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF) is an umbrella term for three-dimensional printing, rapid prototyping, additive manufacturing, or any method of building things by having a machine deposit material under computer control.

The Fab@Home is unique because it is a comparatively inexpensive, three-dimensional printer that can use a large array of materials make static and dynamic objects.

It contrasts with other, low-cost three-dimensional printers such as the RepRap (and Makerbot) in three key ways. First, the RepRap is oriented toward self-replication, making its own parts, while Fab@Home is aiming toward printing static and dynamic objects¬. Secondly, the Fab@Home uses a syringe tool that allows you to use a wider variety of materials. Thirdly, Fab@Home is largely a snap-and-screw-together kit, while others tent to require more technical skill to build.

There are several open-source and commercial cad programs. Search around and find the one best suited to your needs and budget.

Getting and Assembling the Fab@Home

The Cornell Creative Machines Lab (formerly the CCSL), the umbrella organization that holds the Fab@Home Team, does NOT sell the Fab@Home. If you are interested in getting a unit please email getinvolved@fabathome.org

YVisit the wiki (http://fabathome.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page) for the Model 1 Model 2 instructions on building your kit

You can purchase Model 1 pre-assembled from NextFabStore

The Cornell Creative Machines Lab , the umbrella organization that holds the Fab@Home Team, does not sell the kit because we are a research organization at Cornell. If you are interested in contacting someone who does sell the kit, please email getinvolved@fabathome.org

Coming soon.

The Model 1 stands at 18.5" (47cm) wide, by 16" (40.6cm) deep, by roughly 18" (45.7cm) tall.

The Model 2 stands at 14.6” (37.2 cm) wide, by 15.2” (38.5cm) deep, by 18.5” (47 cm) tall.

Coming soon.

The Model 1 can be put together in a weekend of 18-24 work hours by someone with basic hobby skills (e.g. soldering). For building instructions, click here.

The Model 2 will take significantly less time.

The Fab@Home can work with almost any kind of liquid or paste that you can imagine dispensing from a syringe. We have tried using household silicone rubber caulk, epoxy, cheese, chocolate (with a small heater attached to the syringe tool), cake frosting, ceramic clay (when mixed with sufficient water), PlayDoh, and gypsum plaster. This is merely a list of the materials we have had time to play with - many, many more materials are possible, and it is the intent of Fab@Home to make it easy for you to try your own materials. A good material is soft/fluid enough to push through a syringe, but firm enough that it will "stack up".

The build volume of Model 1 is roughly 8" cubed.

The build volume of Model 2 is coming soon.

You need to provide the printer with a 3D model of the object you would like to build. You can generate the model using either 3D design software or a 3D scanner. The Fab@Home software reads stereolithography (STL) files, which you can export from programs such as SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, and CosmicBlobs. (see the Design Tools page for more information). Alternatively, a 3D scanner, such as David or NextEngine, can be used to scan objects to produce a model, which can then be converted into an STL file that Fab@Home can build.

For the Model 1 and 2, the accuracy and repeatability depend upon the material you are working with (does it flow?, does it change shape with time?), the time you have spent tuning the deposition parameters, and the nozzle diameter, as well as on the positioning accuracy and repeatability of the machine. For a "good" material that does not flow, the X-Y (layer plane) resolution is roughly twice the diameter of the nozzle, and the Z (height) resolution is roughly equal to the nozzle diameter. In theory, this holds until you approach the positioning resolution of the machine. For the Model 1 it is roughly +/-25 micrometers. The accuracy and repeatability of the positioning system of the Model 1 have not been measured. At a rough guess, without special attention paid to setup, the repeatability will be roughly +/-100 micrometers. The Model 2 can operate at a higher speed for the same resolution as the Model 2.

Getting Involved

If you are a hobbyist interested in printing three-dimensional static and dynamic objects using a variety of inexpensive materials, then you should consider the Fab@Home. The Fab@Home can also be used in kitchens to print custom objects and toppings out of cheese, icing, and chocolate.

The Fab@Home can help teach students about the practical implications of engineering, and encourage them to investigate further. Not everybody loves math and science, but nearly everybody loves to eat custom-designed chocolate shapes. The Fab@Home has been used for high school science project.

Biological scientists have also used the printer in their experiments.

Of course! If you have a suggestion for a new project, say so on the forum page. If you have a suggestion or idea for an existing project, add your two-cents on the appropriate page in the forum.

Sign up! Pick a project or suggest a new one on the appropriate forum. You can also send us an email at GetInvolved@FabatHome.org.

Printing

The Fab@Home team has designed a tool head that can mount a dremel flex shaft.

The Fab@Home can build nearly anything out of any kind of liquid or paste that you can imagine dispensing from a syringe. We have tried using household silicone rubber caulk, epoxy, cheese, chocolate (with a small heater attached to the syringe tool), cake frosting, ceramic clay (when mixed with sufficient water), PlayDoh, and gypsum plaster. Is this up to date? This is merely a list of the materials we have had time to play with - many, many more materials are possible,

The Fab@Home can print with nearly any kind of liquid or paste that you can imagine dispensing from a syringe. To date, we have used household silicone rubber caulk, epoxy, cheese, chocolate (with a small heater attached to the syringe tool), cake frosting, ceramic clay (when mixed with sufficient water), PlayDoh, and gypsum plaster. This is merely a list of the materials we have had time to play with - many, many more materials are possible.

Website/Wiki/Forum/Blog

First, make sure you are logged in.

-If you see your username at the top right of the page, you are logged in
-Otherwise click Login at the top right corner of the page

Click the "edit" tab (at the top) of the page you want to change

-Edit the "wiki text" to make the changes you would like to make
-Click "Show Preview" at the bottom of the page to make sure that the results are what you want
-If you are satisfied, click "Save Page" at the bottom of the page

Now everyone can see your contribution!

To join our community, click on the "Sign up" link at the top right hand corner of this page. From there you can choose a username for our website. To edit the wiki, you can click the "Wiki" link on the main navigation bar on the top of this page, then click "Log in/Create account" at the top right hand corner. By using the same username for both the main site and the wiki, logging in here will also log you into the wiki.

Also, if you already have a Fab@Home, please add it to the Fabbers of the World page.

If you still have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us at GetInvolved@FabAtHome.com