Universal desktop fabrication
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Authors: Vilbrandt, T., Malone, E. and Lipson, H.
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Authors: Vilbrandt, T., Malone, E., Lipson, H. and Pasko, A.
Volume: 4889 LNCS
Advances in digital design and fabrication technologies are leading toward single fabrication systems capable of producing almost any complete functional object. We are proposing a new paradigm for manufacturing, which we call Universal Desktop Fabrication (UDF), and a framework for its development. UDF will be a coherent system of volumetric digital design software able to handle infinite complexity at any spatial resolution and compact, automated, multi-material digital fabrication hardware. This system aims to be inexpensive, simple, safe and intuitive to operate, open to user modification and experimentation, and capable of rapidly manufacturing almost any arbitrary, complete, high-quality, functional object. Through the broad accessibility and generality of digital technology, UDF will enable vastly more individuals to become innovators of technology, and will catalyze a shift from specialized mass production and global transportation of products to personal customization and point-of-use manufacturing. Likewise, the inherent accuracy and speed of digital computation will allow processes that significantly surpass the practical complexity of the current design and manufacturing systems. This transformation of manufacturing will allow for entirely new classes of human-made, peer-produced, micro-engineered objects, resulting in more dynamic and natural interactions with the world. We describe and illustrate our current results in UDF hardware and software, and describe future development directions. © 2008 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.