Maker Mondays: FabCafe Tokyo

Maker Mondays: FabCafe Tokyo

http://fabcafe.com/

About a year ago at SXSW I met the incredible people from Fab Cafe Tokyo. Their english was a little hard to understand so we spoke in sign: I would hold up an object in their booth and they would throw me a thumbs up. One particular object solicited a high five - at first I was a bit puzzled and then very excited, because as it turns out they were using 123D with their customers to create some truly creative work. 

Fab Cafe sits uniquely between a TechShop and a high end coffee bar. They have created a relaxed atmosphere that is the perfect learning environment for digital manufacturing, a topic that can leave some novices with a tech hangover. Specializing in amazing coffee, highly thought-out courses, and a pristine workshop environment, I can hardly imagine a better remedy than to spend all day every day there swimming among the creatives of Tokyo. 

I recently caught up with Fab Cafe to learn about their extremely busy past year, plans for global impact, and their self created 123D Catch booth (with a little assistance from my Autodesk counterparts in Tokyo).

JHA: How did Fab Café begin? 

FC: We had a workshop with FabLab Kamakura member for 2 days in 2011. They brought various digital fabrication tools and we enjoyed them very much. We also figured out how digital fabrication tools are easy and they inspired our creativity. We thought all should be able to access these tools. Not in a lab, university and factory. That's why we put these machines in an open space - a cafe.  

JHA: Are there future plans for expanding FabCafé? 

FC:  We have branches in Taipei and Barcelona now. And we will set up another two in Barcelona soon. 

We've got many inquiries from all over the world so we hope we will setup ten FabCafe's in the world in 2014. They will lead diversity of creativity.  

The advantage of digital fabrication tools are that their data is digital and easy to transfer via internet. So we can share ideas and data and output them whenever there are tools. We can expand FabCafe network without geographical limitation.   

JHA: What has surprised you most about your customers? 

FC:  Yusuke Ohno is our customers and is also our collaborator. His work "360 degree book" is featured by many blogs, art sites and big fashion brand offered him to display his work in the store. Finally, the US company offered him to make his original 360 degree lamp shade for sale. It's a wonderful story that a work made in FabCafe became international famous art work and became a product.

We are inspired by our customers all time. 

JHA: Can you tell us a bit more about the 123D Courses? 

FC: We installed 3D printers FabCafe last May. Many customers were interested in 3D printer but they feel it's difficult to make 3D model. But it's not true. We want to change their mind. 3D modeling is accessible and 3D printer is also accessible for all. So we started Fab Class for entry users using 123D series. We have two courses.  One is using 123D creature, the other is using Tinkercad. It's great thing that most of participants print out their work by 3D printer after the class.

 

 

 

 

TSA Loves 123D Circuits

A lot could go through your head when a day after your CEO leaves the office with a box of custom electronics you receive this email from the airport:

Uh Oh.  Would he miss the flight to Tokyo? Why couldn't we have made it look less like a Mission Impossible prop?  Don't cut the orange wire!

Then this tweet... Sounds like he made it!

So what's all the fuss about?  It turns out this little box of circuitry does something really cool: when you shake it, it's like rolling a die (singular of dice) and a huge 7-segment display on the front side cycles through numbers randomly until it slows down and stops on a digit between 1 and 6.  It was all designed with Autodesk software, specifically our brand new electronics design tool called 123D Circuits.  

Here's a link to the blog announcing the 123D Circuits launch.

Here's a detailed Instructable on how it was made so you can build one too.

                

In the end Carl Bass prevailed.  He and the die made it to the Tokyo Maker Faire unencumbered.

 

 

If you're interested in more than electronics check out our complete suite of 123D apps for 3D modeling and 3D printing.  You can even make 3D models using just photographs.  Autodesk 123D makes it easy from start to finish (even from an airport!)

 

Tokyo Maker Faire

Maker Faires are in full swing around the world, and Autodesk 123D got in on the action this weekend in Tokyo, Japan, a city renowned for its history of innovation. 

Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk, even got in the action, delivering a presentation on "the appearance of new manufacturing in North America."

 

The 123D team hosted an area equipped with MakerBots, iPads with all the 123D tools installed, interlock assemblies, LED badges, duct tape bags, a black rocket shelf, and even a 3D photo booth. 

 

 It's so rewarding to see firsthand how people incorporate the 123D tools into their personal creative expression. Thank you to the thousands of smiling people of all ages that came to visit and create with us! We can't wait to do it again next year, Tokyo Maker Faire!