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Fabricating Society, 13th International Conference of Digital Fabrication
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Wednesday, August 2 • 14:30 - 18:30
Fab lab “in-a-box” for humanitarian and development context Working Group

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The Humanitarian FabKit project aims at scaling-up (to the humanitarian sector) a rapidly deployable set of resources to enable solution development by and for communities affected by natural and manmade disasters (and conflicts and other forms of violence) and also by humanitarian workers in the field. It includes a micro Fab Lab and also other components (digital platform, infrastructure, etc.) required to build a community enabling environment in humanitarian or development settings.

At maturity, the Humanitarian FabKit is planned to be an affordable (<10K$) and open solution that can be entirely made in a Fab Lab (or similarly equipped space) and can be used and adapted for a variety of innovation communities enabling scenarios, deployable in remote and resource scarce settings.

Read our story about the first 2 months of activity of a Humanitarian FabKit deployed, in Greece in a refugee context, with Terre des hommes.

Humanitarian and development work requires solutions adapted to the specific needs and constraints that come with the challenges of remote and hardship settings. Size, cost, volume are all critical factors to carefully consider when deploying an enabling environment such as a Fab Lab in a humanitarian setting. From a recent discussion with Neil Gershenfeld emerged this idea and opportunity of a “Fab Lab made Humanitarian FabKit” that could significantly reduce cost and improve sustainability.

This working group is dedicated to (almost) everything relating to digital fabrication from a Humanitarian FabKit point of view, a short introduction to the Humanitarian FabKit followed by a high profile set of presentations/demos/panel discussions will set the stage, for the breakout groups.

Please note that this working group is allocating a significant portion of the 4 hours to breakout (working) groups.

1. Introduction (30’)
Welcome to the working group. About the Humanitarian FabKit and the opportunities to actually make it in a Fab Lab.

2. Panel: Fab Lab made Humanitarian FabKit (60’)
Setting the stage for the breakout groups including a set of plenary, short, structured discussions:

2.1) “Machines that make” (with Jens Dyvik and Felix Ma) - research that could lead to a flat pack, Fab Lab made, digital fabrication machine with interchangeable end-effectors. Includes the following demos: Small Fab Lab made DigiFab machines (with Jens Dyvik)  & a modular DigiFab machine in a bag (with Felix Ma).

2.2) "Software-hardware interface" (with Neil Gershenfeld) - to support design, automation, and interfacing with machines.

2.3) "Parametric container" (with David Ott & Jean-Marie Durney) - imagine a parametric container system to transport and protect the Humanitarian FabKit and would also be multi-purpose for example could be reassembled into furniture, etc. Developing on Bill Young’s CNC designs to produce a parametric container that can be made in a Fab Lab. Includes a demo of containers with a variation of low tech attachment methods (without Bill Young).

2.4) "Training of Trainers" (with Luciano Betoldi) for digital fabrication and related skills.

3. Breakout groups (120’)
Work time! With the insight gained during the panel and according to everyone's individual interest breakout groups can further develop any of the above topics.

4. Wrap up (30’)
Debrief from the breakout groups, next steps, etc.

avatar for Jens Dyvik

Jens Dyvik

Research and Development, Fellesverkstedet
avatar for Neil Gershenfeld

Neil Gershenfeld

Director, MIT Center for Bit and Atoms, MIT

Workshop Tutors
avatar for David Ott

David Ott

Co-founder, Global Humanitarian Lab
avatar for Felix Ma

Felix Ma


avatar for Luciano Betoldi

Luciano Betoldi

International Operations Director, Fab Foundation
Luciano Betoldi, International Operations Director at the Fab Foundation, accumulates more than 10 years' experience working in the digital fabrication space. Luciano graduated in Product Design at Istituto Europe di Design in Barcelona and undertook further studies in Interaction... Read More →

Wednesday August 2, 2017 14:30 - 18:30 PDT
Centro de Extension Universidad Catolica O'Higgins, Av Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins 390, Santiago, Región Metropolitana