by Han-Ru Xie
Desktop Factory is a model aimed for production in a small number but diversified options that can also save energy and raw materials required, while carbon emission is reduced. With these features, you can say that such device undoubtedly shows the advantages that every sector seeks today. Many companies have started their research and development of desktop production tools, using the latest technology for manufacturing.
Industrial grade manufacturing achieved within a small space
Mayku Multiplier, a vacuum forming machine by Mayku to bringing pressure forming to the desktop for the first time. Different from the general vacuum former that features negative pressure for molding where the removal of air causes the molding material to attach itself to the mold shape, Mayku Multiplier, in a reversed approach, uses high pressure positive airflow to press the molding material to stick to every detail of the mold with precision. In addition to the high-quality product from such industrial grade printing, Mayku Multiplier comes in the size of only 685 x 600 x 600 mm, which takes little space at home. This design allows creators or Makers with a small studio to have easier and faster access to mass production on their own.
Taiwan & Japan joining hands in building desktop chemical plants
Two years ago, National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) invited Takehiko Kitamori, the former vice-president of University of Tokyo (UTokyo), also a pioneer in Micro/nanofluids, to be an Honorary Chair Professor in the Yushan Scholar Program of the University. With years of experience in glass microfluidic devices, Professor Kitamori brought together teams from NTHU and UTokyo to develop a new type of microfluidic chip for building desktop chemical plants.
This technology downsizes the complex process of mixing and sorting in traditional chemical factories to tasks that can be done by a glass chip that is only 7 cm long and 3 cm wide, which is smaller than a business card. Furthermore, the chip allows accurate operations completed through thousands of microfluidic chips performing simultaneously, which miniaturizes the process in chemical productions.
Should this new technology become mature, it can be introduced into Taiwan’s small and medium-sized chemical plants or be applied in the semiconductor and biomedical and pharmaceutical industries, which will greatly help Taiwan’s industrial development. At the same time, this technology is expected to significantly reduce plant size, process time, carbon emissions, and energy consumption, which is in line with the goal for environmental protection today.
A production model that is human-centered and takes into account the environment and reduces waste fits the general trend of the development in the manufacturing industry, and the birth of this Desktop Factory can be seen as a driving force to such trend.