The Third International
Fab Lab Forum
Symposium on Digital Fabrication

Pretoria, South Africa
June 29, 2006


There have been digital revolutions in computing and communications, but today's most advanced fabrication processes are inherently analog. The intelligence lies in the computers that control the tools, rather than in the materials that are being manufactured. The essence of the earlier digital revolutions was "threshold theorems" that showed that, by encoding and restoring discrete states, enormously complex reliable systems could be made from simple unreliable parts. Emerging research now points to the possibility of an analogous digital revolution in manufacturing, bringing the programmability of the digital world of bits to the physical world of atoms.

This meeting will explore principles and practices for such a digitization of fabrication, from the frontiers of laboratory research to the impact of access to prototype tools for personal fabrication in field fab labs. It is being held in conjunction with a global gathering of the fab lab community, including representatives from academia, industry, governments, and NGOs.

Monday June 26

Region Reports
South Africa
Cape Town
Latin America

Tuesday June 27

Fab Lab Forum

Wednesday June 28

Fab Lab Forum

Thursday June 29

Symposium on Digital Fabrication

9:00-9:30 Introduction  video
   Johan le Roux
   Neil Gershenfeld
9:30-10:45 Foundations  video    Charles Bennett: molecular machines
   Joe Jacobson*: fabricational complexity
   Erik Winfree: algorithmic self-assembly
   Hod Lipson: machines that make machines
11:00-12:15 Implementations  video    Paul du Plessis: digital manufacturing trends
   George Popescu*, Tushar Mahale*: digital materials
   Kenneth Cheung*: design for folding
   Carl Scheffler, Turlif Vilbrandt: .fab
   David Dalrymple*: digital design tools
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:45-3:00 Applications  video    Yogesh Kulkarni, Manu Prakash: instrumentation for agriculture
   Peter Bosscha: thinner clients
   George Sergiadis: mesh networking
   Amy Sun: solar-powered steam turbines
   Robyn Allen*: rapid transportation prototyping
   Larry Sass: rapid housing prototyping
   Behrokh Khoshnevis: building printing
3:15-4:30 Implications
   Letlotlo Phohole: FAB degree
   Sushil Borde, Haakon Karlsen, Eric Osiakwan: Fab Foundation
   Michael Angst*: Fab Fund
4:30-5:30 Discussion
6:00-7:30 Demonstrations

(* via videoconference)

Friday June 30

Fab Lab Forum