- 一般社団法人 日本科学教育学会
- 科学教育研究 (ISSN:03864553)
- vol.41, no.3, pp.373-382, 2017 (Released:2017-10-18)
Recently, affordable desktop digital fabrication tools such as 3D printers and laser cutters, and design data sharing via the Internet have been maximizing the potential for personal production. The purpose of this study is to elucidate an overview of Fab Labs in Japan and the extent of their support for beginners in digital fabrication. We conducted field research at 8 Fab Labs in Japan, the first research of multiple Fab Labs conducted by an external research team. The research included site visits, interviews with the managers of Fab Labs, and observations of instructor-led lessons and “open labs”. Field research results showed the current state of difficulties for beginners, support activities for them, and knowledge sharing practice in Fab Labs in Japan. Regarding the first difficulty, “preparing design data”, instructor-led lessons and guidance on reuse of shared data appeared to be useful to them. Regarding the second difficulty, “developing a plan of work”, reference to work produced by others and sharing knowledge generally, provides hints for beginners. Communication amongst participants at the “open lab” was also recognized as a support for beginners.