This is a great example of technology meeting community. The development and potential of 3D printing is opening up massive civic infrastructure projects to the communities which actually use them. Not only does this involve users in their urban environment, but increases sustainability and feeds skills development.
The Fabrication City concept puts manufacturing back in the hands of communities — using 3D printers. It could have far-reaching implications for economic development, environmental sustainability, inclusion and other benefits. The use of 3D printing provides cities with opportunities through their local innovators and entrepreneurs.
The process of 3D printing layers materials to create three-dimensional objects using digital equipment. Local makers are given access to fabrication labs equipped with technology to learn and this incubation environment can develop future entrepreneurs.
The fabrication city model emerged around 2011, developed by the MIT’s Centre for Bits and Atoms and by over 1,000 Maker Centres that give local makers access to 3D printing and other production tools. There are also neighbourhoods and city clusters that facilitate the maker movement.