Start your own FabLab: $1,499

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At TED2006, Neil Gershenfeld gave a fun and fast-paced introduction to the FabLab — a miniature fabrication plant for making pretty much anything. Gershenfeld’s pioneering FabLab at MIT cost a cool million bucks, thankyouverymuch. He’s been spreading the idea of smaller FabLabs around the world — from urban Boston to the Takoradi Technical Institute in southwestern Ghana.

But since this talk was given in 2006, it’s also become more affordable to start a mini FabLab at home or school — like the starter kit described in this blog post:

This Christmas season,you could buy a loved one an HDTV, a low-end MacBook, or a suite of tools that enable them to create anything they can imagine.

There’s a 3D printer, a 2D plotter and a 3D mill (the Unimat 6-in-1 tool system). As blogger Joseph Flaherty says: “The educational applications of these tools are very exciting, and can help bridge the gap between Lego Mindstorms and having to wait for machine shops to provide parts for you.” Check out the blog for more details: “For the price of a TV you can start a FabLab” >>