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The Benefits of Desktop Fabricators

Desktop fabricators give individual users the ability to print their own part designs or those of others' from websites like MakerBot Industries' Thingiverse. These small-scale systems open the door for widespread personal use of additive manufacturing technologies.

Our Systems


    MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D Printer
    Parts Printed on the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic

The DREAMS Lab has a total of 5 MakerBot systems. The open architecture of these desktop fabrication systems enables researchers to experiment with novel thermoplastic materials by providing full customization over every process parameter. While only a desktop-sized machine, this printer is perfectly suitable for small-scale processing tests of new materials. The machines are used primarily for undergraduate research projects as well as outreach activities (e.g., STEM classroom demonstrations).



    Fab@Home Desktop Fabricator


The Fab@Home system is an open source desktop fabrication technology.  Using off-the-shelf components, the system creates prototypes via the selective extrusion of material.  The extrusion subsystem is composed of a stepper motor, a lead screw, and a syringe.

In its current embodiment, the Fab@Home system is only able to work with materials which can be extruded at room temperature: frosting, silicone RTV, and modeling clay.

Want to Learn More?

Visit the MakerBot Industries and Fab@Home websites to find out more!