Digital Fabrication SIG
Digital fabrication is an emerging technology with significant implications for both society and schools. It involves use of a digital design to create a physical object. Tools such as 3D printers and computer-controlled die cutters can be used for desktop manufacturing.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineering includes personal fabrication on a short list of Innovations that Could Change Engineering because it offers revolutionary changes for both manufacturers and the everyday consumer. Some digital fabrication tools now cost less than a desktop printer, making them suitable for use in schools.
Digital fabrication offers potential connections to instructional objectives in science, mathematics, language arts, social studies, and art education. The transition to personal fabrication is analogous to the shift from mainframe computers to personal computers. To excel in the field of digital fabrication, students will need early access to personal fabrication tools and opportunities to practice.
The SITE Digital Fabrication special interest group was established to explore ways in which this emerging technology might be used to facilitate teaching and learning in today’s schools.