Digital manufacturing and its impact on professional designers
06 / 05 / 2019
Today no one doubts that the future of product design lies in digital manufacturing, a set of integrated processes that allows you to move from a digital design using CAD software to a solid tridimensional object, obtained from a 3D printer. But digital manufacturing includes not only 3D printing (objects are built up out of layers of metal or plastic) but also CNC Machining (where, typically, shapes are cut out of wooden sheets) and Laser Cutting (where materials like metal are burnt or melted by a laser beam). Any kind of object can be manufactured today: a pencil, a furniture unit, a shoe, a drone and, unfortunately, even a weapon.
Fabricate is a triennial international conference, now in its third year, which brings together pioneers in design and making within architecture, construction, engineering, manufacturing, materials technology and computation. Each year it produces a supporting publication, to date the only one of its kind specializing in Digital Fabrication, which is now available free to download.
More than 700 pages’ worth of technical experiments, speculative construction processes, new industrial tools, and one-off prototypes, the books are a gold mine for research and development. Information on 3D printers, semi-autonomous bricklaying, robots, multi-axis milling machines, cellular automata, self-assembling endoskeletons, drone weaving… The volumes also include essays and interviews which give further in-depth information on the subject.
These three Fabricate volumes are an essential tool for all those designers and students that wish to delve deeper into digital manufacturing, exploring its possibilities and researching the applications this technique can bring to their work. In such a rapidly evolving field it is important to keep pace with innovations and the changes that take place. Luckily, Fabricate has compiled and edited all this information in this series, at everyone’s disposal.