About the Fab Lab A fab lab is a small-scale workshop with computer-controlled tools that allow to make "almost anything". The fab lab program is part of the Center for Bits and Atoms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For more details see the Fab Charter below.
Rapid Prototyping is the automatic construction of physical objects using additive manufacturing technologies. It is used to manufacture prototypes and even production-quality parts in small numbers.
The fab lab in Aachen has a 3D printer which uses a technology called Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). The prototype is produced by extruding small beads of thermoplastic material to form layers as the material hardens immediately after extrusion.
Personal Fabrication is a term that is used when rapid prototyping is applied in the personal domain. Just like computers moved from data centers to private households and offices, we expect that rapid prototyping technologies will arrive on our desks in the near future.