Neil Gershenfeld. FAB: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop—From Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication. Basic Books, 2005
"explores the ability to design and produce your own products, in your own home, with a machine that combines consumer electronics with industrial tools. Such machines, Personal fabricators, offer the promise of making almost anything-including new personal fabricators and as a result revolutionize the world just as personal computers did a generation ago." (http://www.itconversations.com/shows/detail460.html)
"What if you could design and produce your own products, in your own home, with a machine that can be used to make almost anything? Imagine if you didn't have to wait for a company to sell the product you wanted but could use your own personal fabricator to create it instead. Neil Gershenfeld, Director of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms, believes that personal fabricators will allow us to do just that and revolutionize our world."
Status of Fab Labs
"Hod Lipson's grand plan was to make a robot that could build copies of itself. What the Cornell University roboticist ended up with was something more modest. In Lipson's Model 1, a syringe ejects epoxy or another gooey material onto a platform in paper-thin layers. He started the Fab@Home Web site in 2006 for the masses to pool their knowledge and improve on the machine's open-source design. So far, early adopters have cranked out ephemera such as wristwatch bands, iPod skins, and logos made of cheese printed on crackers. Lipson's group is currently testing a two-syringe model for printing different colors or materials." (http://www.sciam.com/slideshow.cfm?id=five-ways-to-print-3d-objects)