For the sixth straight year, Japan-based Roland DG, a global manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and 3-D devices, is a key sponsor of the annual meeting of the global Fab Lab community, this year called FAB14.
The week-long event takes place this week (July 16-22) in Toulouse, France.
Operating under the concept “Make, Learn, Share,” a Fab Lab is an open workshop equipped with a variety of digital fabrication tools that enables members to explore, develop, and share creative ideas and know-how as part of a global fabrication community. The Fab Lab Conference, held in a different city around the world each year, brings together members, educators, and fans from around the world.
Attendees network and participate in a wide variety of activities, including symposiums on digital manufacturing, workshops aimed at collaborating to resolve specific societal issues, and sessions for sharing case studies and information on new initiatives being implemented at local Fab Labs.
Roland DG has sponsored the conference since 2013 because, it says, its products play an important role in expanding the creative potential of fabrication and developing new fields of value. As a digital fabrication pioneer, Roland’s inkjet printers, cutters, and milling machines have been used to bring concepts and ideas to life for more than 30 years, notes the company.
Like its cousin, so-called “maker spaces,” Fab Labs have been growing in popularity all over the world as part of the movement aimed at boosting innovative environmental, manufacturing, and creative solutions to global problems.
As part of this event, Roland DG France SAS, a group company of Roland DG, will hold workshops at the conference demonstrating the capabilities of its products such as the VersaUV LEF-200 UV-LED flatbed inkjet printer; the VersaSTUDIO BN-20 desktop printer/cutter; the METAZA MPX-95 photo impact printer; and the DGSHAPE LD-80 laser foil decorator.
“Roland has been an ardent supporter of Fab Lab initiatives for many years, and we continue to promote awareness, interest, and participation,” says Andrew Oransky, president of Roland DGA. “At FAB14, attendees will have a chance to get ‘hands-on’ with our 3-D milling machines, vinyl cutters, and other innovative Roland technologies. They’ll be able to see for themselves why these advanced, yet easy-to-use devices are recommended equipment for Fab Labs around the globe.”
The concept of a Fab Lab originally spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in an idea conceived by Professor Neil Gershenfeld, director of the Center for Bits and Atoms at the school. Today, there are more than 1,200 Fab Labs in more than 100 countries.