FabMaterials: The way to the tangible investigation of materials in prototype development

Materials are essential part of making. They enable designers, artisans, architects, sculptors, and engineers to prototype their ideas. Materials impact not only on the visual but also on functional aspects of a design. The process of selection and manufacturing is part of the design process which is not always considered explicitly enough. Rather then just using materials, the exploration of materials as fundamental part of the design process can create new value to the outcome. It enables the us to take different positions of working on a conceiving idea, changing and potentializing novel applications in the Fab Labs.

FabMaterials is a tangible archive of applied digital and manual manufacturing processes; made primarily at FabLab Kamp-Lintfort. This analog library, accompanied by a digital resource, explores the impact of materials, their application, their modification and process of creation (the journey). This study has the objective of encouraging and stimulating fab lab users to discover the possibilities of exploring and promoting the incorporation of prototyping focused on materials research. With this experimental-driven approach, we are looking into new frontiers of prototyping in Fab Labs.