Joshua Gigantino, Fab Academy 2011, Class Notes

Week 1
DNA as premier digital fabrication process, fundamentally digital. "how to make less errors and noise" as primary question in engineering. Digital/symbols - if signal is above noise then digital transmission is perfect representation. Planes are analog, so are chips @ material level. Digitized fabrication as reduction in errors. CBA doing folding for fab. Eventually the computer program will not describe something, it will be something. Analog to digital - communications in 1945, computers in 1956, Fab in 2005. All disciplines look at all scales and write to any scale. Personal Fabriaction is analogous to personaal computing, DIY, literacy. Rennaissance - liberal arts of Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic - the Trivium and Arithmetic, Geometr, Music, Astronomy - the Quadrivium "The Illiberal Arts" - artisans and working by hand. Fab= new type of literacy. Star Trek replicator within 20 years, tools useful now. Outreach, NSF says to show relevance instead of talking about it, give people the tools - Boston inner city, Ghana, South Africa, India, Costa Rica, Norge, Afghanistan. 50 labs, doubles yearly, digital divide in tools and instrumentation. No agenda, just technical empowerment. Kids in Ghana making college-level electronics Metropolitan area networks, FabFi in Afghanistan, an open mesh network that is faster, better, cheaper, hosts open courseware locally and a slow satellite uplink. Joburg SA, $10 "thinner client", Barce FabLabHouse solar house, first place in people's award, last place for judges in contest.
Machines That Make - core tech, bootstrapping to equipment that is better than existing commercial options, functional, recyclable, Fab-in-a-box 1.0 computer to machine 2.0 machine to machine 3.0 code to materials 4.0 programs to materials digital/social impact occurs halfway trhough development Fab is at the workgroup scale, getting easier but not trivial. Dont wait for tech revolution to finish for business models to emerge. Fab Foundation, Fund and Academy, research partners, problems in youth education - "You're smart so you have to leave home to succeed or keep learning." - Fab circles that. Modern education is based on scarcity, Fab and networked campus puts the tools locally in the hands of students. Carnegie funded 10 public libraries, Fab creatign a new kind of literacy Things to descriptions to things Digital Fabrication as custom on demand instead of mass manufactured sameness. HR6003 National FabLab Network Moving snapshot of digital fabrication upends model of academdia, industry, community. How to live, work, play in a world anyone can make anything? Current diploma will go to both lower grade levels and higher. Campus is planet Earth, can't accredit a network. Compares to Cisco certification for network engineers, the accreditors will catch up. 20 units, "rites of passage", diploma comes from demonstrated skills not time spent. Labs as low-barrier, transparent, Labs incubate new businesses. Weekly cycles: Weds 9AM EST lectures Friday AM open lab Monday AM open lab Each week will have a "Hello, World" project, enough to learn basics and modify existing project. certification and dox come from doing and documenting. Gurus are the scarcest resource in Fab Network "training the trainers" - materials, gear and financing are available You will feel overwhelmed, multiple dimensions and knowledge, keep up, do assignments, plan to be confused, work hard and learn a great deal quickly.
Week 2