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April 23, 2007

Devices called fabricators are making the leap from factories to homes.


Building your own building machine. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Someday every home may have a fabricator. It’s a device like an inkjet printer, but it generates 3-D objects. In fact, if you’re handy, tech-savvy, and very patient, you can build your own fabricator now, using plans from The project was born at Cornell University. Robotics engineer Hod Lipson says fabricators have long been used in science and industry.

HOD LIPSON (Cornell University):
The challenges, though, are that first, they are inaccessible to most people, and the second one is that they usually make a part made out of one material, instead of making a complete, integrated system.

Though it’s not as powerful as an industrial fabricator, [email protected] can work with multiple materials. So far, eager users have made objects including toys, dog bones, and Frisbees.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.