Daily Illuminator

May 13, 2007: 3D Fabrication At Home

At Penguicon (and no, this still isn't the last "Wow, Penguicon stuff!" post), I saw a presentation by RepRap, which is short for Replicating Rapid Prototyper. The gimmick here - and I don't mean 'gimmick' disparagingly, but with delighted respect - is that the goal is to build a fabricator that can create the key parts for . . . itself. So once the first one is built, there will be a LOT of them around, making whatever their owners need . . . for a hobbyist in Austin, an isolated ranch in Australia, or a village in the Third World.

Here's another project . . . similar idea, different approach. The Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories Candyfab 4000 is already up and running. It uses sugar as a manufacturing medium, and creates very large low-res objects that can be used (for instance) as originals for lost-wax casting.

How long before you can download patterns for tools, toys, and miniatures over the net, and make them at home? Not all that long . . .
-- Steve Jackson

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