The New Manufactory: Matter is the New Medium

“We young ones have a perfect right to take toys, and make them into philosophy, inasmuch as now-a-days we are turning philosophy into toys.” — Michael Faraday, A Course of Six Lectures on the Chemical History of a Candle (1861).

What is the New Manufactory?. You can start with anything. Sketch it, photograph it, digitize it. Make a 3D model and program its behavior. Digital objects are easy to manipulate, to edit, to mash up. When you’re ready you can print out a physical copy. Embed an RFID tag so you can track it, sensors so that it can respond to its environment, or actuators so that it can do things in the world. If you didn’t get it quite right, scan it to create new digital objects and recycle the material components. You can iterate as often as you like, digitizing and materializing in a tight loop. The things that we used to think were ethereal are increasingly tied to physical contexts, while matter has become the new medium. Welcome to the New Manufactory.

MakerGear Prusa Mendel RepRap. In 2012 I built a Prusa Mendel RepRap from a MakerGear kit. These are the notes for the build and the software settings.

Building MakerBot 00018. Between 24 April 2009 and 18 February 2010, I built one of the first batch of MakerBots. These are my notes for the build.

Bits from Bytes Darwin RepRap. I built a Darwin RepRap from a Bits from Bytes kit in 2009. A heated bed (built by Josef Prusa) was added in 2010. These are the notes for the build. There is also a separate page for Skeinforge Settings.

Copam 24 Inch Vinyl Cutter. Notes for its use.

RFID Modules. Notes.

ZenBot 1624 CNC Router. Notes for its use.

List of Suppliers. Some places to get materials and electronic components.