The Fab-Lab: Your Survival Secret Weapon!
So you’re interested in survival and preparedness, and you feel like you’re ready, but are you? If disaster struck tomorrow, could you do more than just subsist? Could you beat back the chaos and rebuild to the point where you were thriving, rather than merely living a hardscrabble existence? If your disaster preparation plans include building a fully functioning Fabrication Laboratory (Fab-Lab, for short), the answer to the question is yes!
See, if you have the knowledge and skill to put together a functioning Fab-Lab, even a rudimentary one, then you’ve got all the skills (and the tools!) you need to rebuild a little miniature society for yourself, complete with most of the bells and whistles.
At a minimum, your Fab-Lab needs to have the following pieces of equipment:
•A computer to network the machines together, and control them (you can use a dated laptop for these purposes)• 3d printer (preferably one of the RepRap open source models you built yourself for a fraction of the cost of commercial models)• Laser cutter
• Milling Machine• Multi-machine (there are open source plans on the ‘net for how to build one of these fantastic devices) If you’re truly prepared for when disaster strikes, then you’ll have more than enough power to run these devices, and if you can cobble together enough juice to run these, you can build anything you can dream.If you need new tools, you can design and build them with the equipment above. Need a shelter for you or domesticated animals? You could print struts from the 3d printer with which to build a geodesic dome structure of whatever size you need.
Need a hammer? Wrench? Nails? All can be crafted from the machines above. Literally any tool you can imagine, you can make, including replacement parts for the Fab-Lab itself!Maybe you’ve never even heard of Fab-Labs before reading this article, and because of that, they hadn’t factored into your survival plans at all. If that’s the case, then you owe it to yourself to join a local “MakerSpace” (sometimes called “HackerSpace”) group and see how they do what they do, so you can add it to your skill set. The point is, if you’re serious about disaster preparation and survival, then you need to have a fully functional Fab-Lab in, or near your home.
Further, you need to start collecting digital blueprints for as many tools as you can get your hands on.These “blueprints” can be uploaded to the 3d printer, and will enable you to simply “print” whatever device you find yourself without. And don’t worry about not being able to find “ink” for your printer. You can download plans for something called a “recycle bot” which will enable you to melt down plastic bottles to use as a raw material.
If you need something fashioned out of metal, you can do much the same thing. 3d printers can be configured to use most anything as “ink” and in fact, right now, today, there are 3d printers using metal, wood (called arborform), plastic, cake batter, and concrete as “ink.” No reason at all you couldn’t do the same! Do you think having a tool like that at your disposal will increase your chances of survival? You better believe it!