The Fabbers Map is a way to find Fabbers and Designers nearby, or those anywhere who have the expertise or equipment you need. We’re continually working on the search system to make it easier for you to find the right “Garage.” To help understand a Garage’s capabilities, we’ve recently improved the Fabbers and Designers ability to display a gallery of samples of their work and add information about their digital fab equipment and the types of work they specialize in.
The Project Board is a way to let Designers and Fabbers find you and your project. Sometimes it may not be clear exactly who you need to help you. Describing what you are up to on the Project Board can get you a reply from Designers or Fabbers who have an interest or expertise in your project.
One bit of advice about using the Project Board: Generally speaking, the participants in 100kGarages are focused on doing good work that satisfies your needs while providing them an engaging and workable living. The Project Board offers a great opportunity to identify someone who is right to help with your project – it does not work well as a service to simply get a low bid. Digital fabrication is an efficient way to get things made just the way you want them. The digital production process help make costs realistic and competitive. But do understand that you are paying for a skilled fabricator, using equipment that they have an investment in, to work with you to get things just the way you want. This, along with evolving reputation-ratings and selection of Fabbers and Designer who show evidence of reasonable similar work, will help assure fair value for you and your Designer/Fabber.
Design Software Information, Design Consulting, and Existing Project Designs:
The power of digital fabrication comes from being based on digital design and digital models. The digital model can be communicated, shared, and used for collaboration. Digital design (on the computer) gets easier every day, but there is still a learning hurdle to overcome to make full use of digital fabrication and to communicate about your project to Fabbers. At 100kGarages we provide information about various software approaches for doing digital design. Our plan is to provide instructions and access to as many tutorials as possible. We are also providing support for the new 123D (www.123Dapp.com) website apps that are specifically about making design for digital fabbing easier.
Being able to do even some of your designing will help communicate your interest with a Fabber easier and can provide a starting point for the Fabbers work. For those not wanting to get involved in the design process itself, we have a growing gallery of pre-designed, ready-to-cut projects that may (perhaps with a little modification) be just what you are looking for. We also have a daily increasing number of Designers in the network interested in helping you with your project – just post a request on the Job Board asking for help. Designers also have their own galleries and in many cases designs ready for fabbing that may be just what you need … or, solve your problems if they are slightly modified. Such designs can be sent to your local Fabber, ready for production.
Communicating on the Forum is a great way to ask questions about the process here or about specific fab methods. We try to feature stories of interest that help explain the digital fabrication processes – but there is nothing like asking a question in your terms and getting answers from experts. The Forum is also a place to start up working relationships on collaborative projects where you may need help from several Fabbers, either because you a large quantity of an item, you need it in several different locations, or it involves several different digital fabrication specialties.
As we’ve noted in other posts, 100kGarages is a work in progress. Suggestions and feedback are really useful to help us focus our efforts. Let us know what you thing needs improving, or what is working well. And, if you have an interesting digital fab project story, we’d love to feature you.