How to Start Fabbing

By: Rob Adams on March 19, 2013

We can take all the machines in the lab and divide them into two categories, 2d and 3d. The vinyl cutter and laser cutter work in 2d, cutting or etching flat materials (various woods, acrylic, vinyl, etc). Our Modela engraver and 3d printer are of course fit into the 3d category. The 3d printer builds up pieces in ABS plastic and the Modela can carve blocks of modeling wax, various woods and other materials into 3d objects too. The CNC mill has a 2d and 3d mode so it can fit into both categories.

So if you’re thinking of making anything at the fab lab you simply need to know a 2d and 3d drawing program. Generally any program will do, but to keep costs down for members we concentrate on open source or low cost software. For 2d applications we concentrate on Inkscape, which we had a class on last week. This Saturday we have a class on TinkerCad, one of the easiest and most fun 3d drawing programs I’ve ever seen. If you want to get going with creating 3d objects then you definitely should consider taking this class. And if you want to find out more about our most popular machine, check out the Laser cutter class.