The Future of Manufacturing

Bryan Chappell
Oct 13, 2017 · 2 min read

It is with much excitement that I introduce you to Farlab — a factory on demand.

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We are building a platform that makes it easy for individuals to manufacture physical products. Our vision is of a world where anyone is able to access a factory with the same ease as sharing a file via Dropbox.

Our team has built a lot of software over the years and one day we decided to try and make a physical product. Pretty simple actually. At least that is what we thought. Our list of components included a couple servos, a microcontroller, and some 3D printed parts. This was new territory for us and we didn’t own a 3D printer so we went online to find a vendor. This is where the hills turned to mountains.

We quickly realized that we were spoiled. Pretty much anything you need for an app is a click away.

Need to deploy? Click a button.
Need to store files? Click a button.
Need to share your code? Click a button.

There is no button for manufacturing. So we built Farlab.

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Society is approaching a new threshold when it comes to making stuff. Some call it “Industry 4.0” and there is a lot of buzz out there.

3D Printing is the sole process we use at the moment but future manufacturing processes will include Injection Molding, CNC (Computer Numerical Control), Thermoforming, and many more. Each of these must incorporate speed, simplicity, and quality if we want to see widespread adoption. We make this happen at the software layer.

Our web uploader is the first piece of a much larger plan. The interface makes it simple for anyone, regardless of their technical background, to turn a digital file into something they can hold. Hardware will likely become a service but not without giving developers access to manufacturing technology. Our next step will be introducing an API. We are more than curious to see what the developer community could do with this technology at their fingertips. The possibilities are endless. You could even power your e-commerce site with Farlab. When your customer buys one of your products, your job is done — we make it and ship it.

We hope you’ll check out what we’ve built and would love any feedback you have.

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