Fablab Visit at BISU

Fablab Bohol is the most fabulous laboratory in the country today. Yes, it’s the most popular laboratory in the country since no less than the president of the Philippines, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, had visited during the opening ceremony. The Fablab is the first in the Philippines to implement a computer-based technology in designing and creation of prototypes that would allow local manufacturers to design and create samples of their products for mass production.

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The meetup
TechTalks Bohol had organized a meetup activity last Saturday, August 9, wherein the members had visited the fablab at BISU-Tagbilaran. The event was organized by Sir Ben Skelton and joined by some of the members of the group.

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The orientation
Sir Erickson Nangkil, an instructor of BISU and in charge of the fablab, accommodated us very warmly. He explained to us all the facilities and the background of the fablab.

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The government agencies
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Bohol, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and Bohol Island State University (BISU) are responsible for setting up the fabrication laboratory project. The estimated cost of setting up the fablab is around 8 million pesos. With the high-end machines, the laboratory will require big budget for its maintenance for its continuous operation. Luckily, the 4 agencies had already allocated budget for that and the machines are still under warranty.

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The machines
Fablab visit would not be complete if we were not oriented on the different machines at the laboratory. There are 6 machines on the fablab that can support different types of tasks. The machines can support design creation, prototyping, creation of miniatures, 3D printing and even support from other countries through live conferencing.

1. Small Milling Machine
– for making circuits and making etching easier
– needs dxf and stl files for the designs

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2. 3D Printer
– printing three-dimensional objects
– needs stl file for the designs and filament for the ink
– Pricing: P19 per cubic inch

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3. Laser Cutter 
– fast and accurate cutting of wood, plastic, papers and even soft metals
– uses illustrator or corel applications for the designs
– Pricing: P20 per minute

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4. Huge-scale Printer
– for printing tarpauline, stickers and packaging purposes
– uses ecosol ink

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5. Big Milling Machine
– 1:1 scale of the design
– uses bits for cutting
– Pricing: P1200 per hour

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6. Live Conferencing System
– connect fablabs from different parts of the world

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The demo
During our visit on the fablab, we were able to witness 3 project demonstrations.
1. Cutting illustration board for a prototype of coconut shell product

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2. Image of the painting on the wood

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3. Jose Rizal’s image from SproutBooth

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The goal
Fablab aims to promote awareness on the industries in Bohol to use these facilities. Fablab can handle design and prototype creation of the products. Fablab’s use is only limited for prototype creation and not for mass production. Once the prototype is already okay, fablab provides the designs for mass production.

For those who would like to visit and experience fablab, you may contact BISU and set a schedule. It would be better if you could bring any design with you.

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