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      CommentAuthorVespers
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2008
     (1730.1)
    So. It appears these guys, based close to me, actually, have designed and are in the process of refining a 3D printer that not only is capable of making useful objects out of plastic (soon of a form of low-melting-point metal too, they hope), but most importantly is a machine capable of making copies of itself.

    Oh, and they're releasing it open source under the GNU license. So anyone can help develop it.

    Here ya go
    •  
      CommentAuthorAdam
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2008
     (1730.2)
    “We know that people are going to use the printer to try to make weapons [and] sex toys and drug paraphernalia,” he says. “This is obviously not what we’re hoping they are going to build. We are hoping they are going to build more and better RepRaps.”


    XD Wahahahahahah!!!

    On a more sober note, how long before someone uses it to print a T-1000? The Machine Wars are just over the horizon....
    •  
      CommentAuthorAdam
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2008
     (1730.3)
    Actually, now that I think about it, this is theoretically a prototype GODTI Maker! Transmetropolitan is just over the horizon...
    •  
      CommentAuthorVespers
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2008 edited
     (1730.4)
    Exactly! In fact, here's the answer to Warren's "oh fuck what ELSE from that book is going to come true" when presented with the existence of those ThinkGeek Spider glasses. Makers!
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      CommentAuthorJoe Paoli
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2008
     (1730.5)
    This and the other open source 3d printer, Fabber, are very promising, but we're only at the Stanley Steamer phase of this revolution. The work these guys have done - impressive as it is - is still in the novelty, testing, and proof of concept phase. I'm really interested to see the next Gen of these machines, which'll hopefully be able to make objects that look a little closer to commercial. Since the stated goal of this concept is to mirror Desktop Publishing with Desktop Manufacturing, I'd say we're not there yet. But we're on the road there.

    I attended a lecture by one of the creators of Fabber - and he's pretty close to being able to program it to produce a complete working 'robot' - likely to be more like a working swimming fish shaped motion toy with a built-in battery and artificial muscle. In order to make it, he has to baby sit the machine for at least 8 hours, switching and refilling materials.

    That a machine you can build yourself for the cost of a good PC is capable of doing even this is mind-blowingly cool, but we're still a long way off from the 'matter compilers' from Neal Stephenson's 'The Diamond Age'. Or even a home setup that can compete with products that come out of an industrial milling or molding machine.
    •  
      CommentAuthorm1k3y
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2008
     (1730.6)
    Holy Shitballs!
  1.  (1730.7)
    This could be very useful.

    Nice find, Vespers.