Kurt and I attended our first Dorkbot NYC get-together tonight. Having been told from trusted sources that it was in my “wheelhouse”, I was finally lured to attend when I saw the list of projects being presented. The one that caught my eye was RepRap. On their website, RepRap is described as follows: “RepRap is short for Replicating Rapid-prototyper. It is a practical self-copying 3D printer.” My mind jumped to images of self-assembling nano-machines from Neil Stephenson’s The Diamond Age The concept they have working is far less fantastical, but just as exciting.
Basically, they are attempting to make a very simple, CHEAP, open-design rapid prototyping machine (all designs and software open-source).The killer feature: the parts which it will be made of can be made using the machine itself.
So if I have a working RepRap, and you come over, and see it working, and say you want one, I can print up all the parts of the machine for you to make your own. All you need are a few extra components that cannot currently be “printed” by the machine, some raw material (plastic, resin or metal) and you can assemble your own RepRap.
My mind was spinning thinking of the possibilities.
Dorkbot NYC meets on the first Wednesday in every month.