FAN2 Day 4 – Fabrication for a social purpose

As we sat in for more lab reviews this morning, I realized that I was not bored because today’s talks highlighted a different aspect of fabrication. Often we make something because we have a practical use for it, or we just want to play with it. However, Fablab Dynamic and Makerbar Taipei make things designed to address a social or environmental issue, and digital fabrication is only a means to an end.

Take for example, Fablab Dynamic‘s Fab x Eco project is motivated by dog owners’ underserved need to customize wheel chairs for their beloved dogs. Using traditional manufacturing methods, such wheelchairs are costly and may not fit well to all dogs. Fablab Dynamic not only made their design open-source but also designed it such that the owner or the pet industry can simply enter the height and weight etc. of a dog and have the custom design generated for digital fabrication. Imagine how happy this would make the dog and its owner! We encourage you to read Fablab Dynamic and Makerbar Taipei‘ blogs  (Tip: Google translation is handy) for more inspiration on how we makers can put our skills to create impacts socially and environmentally.

This dog wheelchair is made from laser-cut wood.
This dog wheelchair is made from laser-cut wood. Photo courtesy of Fablab Dynamic.

In the afternoon, we conducted a workshop called “Chameleon Lamp” for FAN2 participants. The name “Chameleon” is inspired by a chameleon’s ability to change its skin colour, depending on its surrounding. A chameleon lamp is one that changes colour when a hand-swipe is detected above its sensors. Due to shortage of time, we could not make enough control boards for everyone to try their hands on, so we did a demo. If you’d like to attempt this at home, check out our instructions here.

Nhan instructing workshop participants how to make a chameleon lamp, one that changes colour when a handswipe is detected.
Nhan instructing workshop participants how to make a chameleon lamp, one that changes colour when a hand-swipe is detected.

Just before dinner, we had a chance to learn skateboarding. On the DIY skateboards of our friends. It was so fun!

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There is always something new to learn everyday. Today we learnt skateboarding. What about you?

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