Volume 12 Number 4 Year - 2018
Number of articles: 14
MANUFACTURING LABS: WHERE NEW DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES HELP IMPROVE LIFE QUALITY
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze where Do It Yourself (DIY) comes to life, investigating the economic reality of Italian Fabrication Laboratories, an international network of digital laboratories which provide a space with new technologies tools for digital manufacturing, identifying their role both towards consumers and businesses in the Industry 4.0 era, with the purpose of helping to improve the quality of life. Data from Italian Fab Labs were collected using a questionnaire survey; 27 Fab Labs participated to the survey. The results show that, while some laboratories are still in an embryonic phase, with no or very few registered users, others are in full activity reaching over 100 users. Italian laboratories are characterized by ample space available, but limited capacity for investment in machinery and technology. The role of Fab Labs in the Italian economic panorama could be double, and affect the consumer side, transforming consumers in "co-designers" of products, and on the other side, helping businesses designing and building prototypes to improve products 'quality.
Keywords: Fabrication Laboratories, Industry 4.0, Digital technologies, Additive Manufacturing
Article info: pp. 957-974
Recieved: 10.08.2018  Accepted: 30.10.2018  UDC: 65.016.2   Downloads: 95