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Fabrication

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Mashable

MIT scientists have created a new tool that can improve robotic wearables, reports Danica D’Souza for Mashable. “The tool provides a pipeline for digital creating pneumatic actuators – devices that power motion with compressed air in many wearables and robotics,” writes D’Souza.

TechCrunch

CSAIL researchers have developed a robotic glove that utilizes pneumatic actuation to serve as an assistive wearable, reports Brian Heater for TechCrunch. “Soft pneumatic actuators are intrinsically compliant and flexible, and combined with intelligent materials, have become the backbone of many robots and assistive technologies – and rapid fabrication with our design tool can hopefully increase ease and ubiquity,” says graduate student Yiyue Luo.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater highlights how MIT spinoff Formlabs has unveiled two new 3-D printers that offer more form and accuracy than earlier models. “Along with increased accuracy, the new machines feature real-time health updates, remote printing and modular designs, so users can swap out parts to keep them going,” Heater explains.

The Boston Globe

Prof. Yoel Fink speaks with Scott Kirsner at The Boston Globe about the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America and the future of smart fabrics. “The basic ingredient of modern technology is semiconductors,” says Fink, CEO of AFFOA. “And the reason there aren’t any smart fabrics out there right now is nobody had figured out how to put a semiconductor into fibers.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Katharine Schwab writes that MIT startup Ministry of Supply worked with researchers at the MIT Self-Assembly Lab to develop a new sweater that can be adjusted for an individual’s specific size using heat. “The fabric shrinks when exposed to heat, thanks to both the structure of the knit and the combination of materials used,” explains Schwab.

Wired

Clive Thompson of Wired speaks with Prof. Neil Gershenfeld, creator of the “fab lab” concept, about what those labs may look like in 30 years. “Gershenfeld is an optimist,” Thompson writes. “He thinks fab labs can create a future that is better for all people and the planet.”

Science

Science reporter Philip Shapira highlights Prof. Neil Gershenfeld’s new book, co-written with his brothers, about digital fabrication. Shapira writes that the, “Gershenfelds engagingly alert us not only to the opportunities that digital fabrication presents but also to the societal and governance challenges that the widespread diffusion of this technology will generate.”

WCVB

In this video, WCVB Chronicle host Anthony Everett visits Prof. Neil Gershenfeld at the Center for Bits and Atoms to learn about the global network of Fab Labs. Everett explains that Gershenfeld sees Fab Labs as places of “collaboration and networking and mentoring where ideas can literally take form. Where you don’t borrow, but make what you want.”

BBC News

Prof. Neil Gershenfeld speaks with Adam Shaw of BBC Horizons about how the fabrication labs he started at the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms have spread around the world. Gershenfeld explains that Fab Labs “are places where ordinary people can go and they can turn data into things and things into data,” adding that they are part of the maker revolution.

BetaBoston

In an article for BetaBoston about 3-D printing, Scott Kirsner highlights the Fab Foundation and Fab Labs, which aim to provide people worldwide with access to digital fabrication tools. “Innovation is a very chaotic, messy process. It doesn’t work in sterile boxes,” says Prof. Neil Gershenfeld. “Globally, these Fab Labs bring bright, inventive people out of the woodwork.”

The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal covers the White House Maker Faire, including President Obama’s look at inventions created by the MIT Mobile Fab Lab. “Mr. Obama viewed electric guitars, a skateboard, a toy robot, and a large bicycle,” all created using the Fab Lab’s fabrication devices, the Journal reports.