Fabricating a Zine Machine

One kind of resource often found around Fab City initiatives, is of course the Fab Lab, which allows local fabrication and experimentation, as well as introducing more people and communities to the possibilities of such an inventory of tools in a neighbourhood. The Zine Machine is a great example of a fun project and also of the distributed nature and opportunities of this kind of workshop.

Zine Machine is a compact 3D-printed block printing press. Convert images into blocks, try friends’ blocks, or use the supplied type to set a page.

The machine was designed by the team at Gestalte Design, with people in Oakland, California and in Minsk, Belarus. Anyone can go to the site, download files, go to their own equipment or their shared space (like échofab for example) and use a 3D printer to fabricate all the parts, to get going producing their home made (Fab made?) zine.

Without getting in too much detail, another interesting aspect of the project is that all the instructions, whether it’s for you the maker, or for the computer printer making the parts, are under a very open licence, which means anyone is free to re-use or modify the plans. Everything is also made available on Github, a platform used for thousands of software projects, which means people can make their own version easily on the same site (called “forking”), and then propose their modifications or even fixes to the original designers (referred to as “submitting a pull request”), advancing the project for everyone coming after them.
Independently of these more technical aspects, it’s simply a fun project designed across two continents, which anyone in the world with access to the tools can re-create locally and use to produce their own art pieces and zines. One example on the amusing side of what’s possible in a fabrication lab, just one essential component of a Fab City.