Diaspora Knowledge Sharing for Implementing a Digital Manufacturing Lab (FabLab) for Socio-Economic Development in Sri Lanka

Author Name

Chaminda Hettiarachchi

Author Address

Chaminda Hettiarachchi [email protected], [email protected]


Knowledge Transfer


Digital Manufacturing is changing the way the world has seen manufacturing. By sharing designs and blueprints over the internet, it will be possible to digitally print 3-dimentional objects locally from anywhere (“print almost anything”). Some consider this as “the next industrial revolution”. Started as project at MIT, the concepts of digital manufacturing is spreading all over the world in the form of Fabrication Laboratory (FabLaB). A group of Sri Lankan Social Scientists from Sri Lanka, Europe and United States has been conducting a project to explore the opportunities for digital manufacturing in post -conflict economic development in Sri Lanka. The group has been collaborating over the internet in setting up of a Fabrication Laboratory (FabLaB) for empowerment of a rural community in Sri Lanka. This session will discuss the objectives, process and challenges faced in this project and on a real life case example on how digital technologies can be used in knowledge sharing of a global Diaspora community for national development. It is expected to conduct a panel discussion with the participation of project members in the session physically and members joining from Sri Lanka, Europe and U.S connected via Google Hangout. It is also expected to webcast the session live.



Resource Persons: Panel Conveners:

Chaminda Hettiarachchi – International Consultant, Researcher and Lecturer at University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka


1. Mr.Priyantha Palapathwala - Director, CEO at George Steuart Optimize (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka

2. Ms. Pubudu Sanaratne, Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Sri Lanka

3. Mr. Gayan Srinath, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

4. Dr. Greshan Fernando, Boeing Corporation, United States

5. Dr.Buddika Jayasena, Georgia Institute of Technology, United States

6. Dr. Richard Schubert, FabLab Berlin, Germany

Panel Objectives:

1.      This session will discuss the objectives, process, progress and challenges faced in this project.

2.      The purpose of the session is to demonstrate the use of Web technologies in conducting a global Diaspora knowledge sharing project.

3.       The session will also discuss the power of digital manufacturing to empower rural community in a developing country as a way of knowledge transfer by Diaspora members.

4.      The session will discuss the dimensions of project covering the planning process, implementation strategies, challenges faced and expected outcome.



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