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« Nanotechnology and Death | Main | How Rich Are You? »

March 18, 2005


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Will Ware

If successful, this effort will have raised many of the interesting issues that nanotech will raise, but in a minimally dangerous setting. This could be a valuable public-relations training exercise for Foresight, CRN, and other organizations interested in the course of public debate regarding nanotech.

It's very encouraging to see that they want to GPL this stuff. One can imagine an intellectual property nightmare with self-rep manufacturing technology in the hands of the already-wealthy, while its full benefits forever elude the relatively poor. Even if this specific manufacturing technology has inherent limitations, a precedent for public distribution might steer future policy in benign directions.

Tom Craver

So - where does the advantages come from? Shipping costs? - you still have to ship the same mass. Raw materials? No - the same or cheaper materials could be used in a factory.

Labor is is a big savings - many people will be willing to put in their own time rather than money.

The real "exponential growth" benefit here is in marketing. This approach has pyramid marketing built in - the only way you'll get a replicated RAP machine is by using that of an acquaintance. So your pal makes you what looks like 80% of a RAP machine - and gives it to you along with a web site where you can buy the rest of the parts. Who could resist biting on that hook?

Not me! And you KNOW I'm going to want to show it off...

engr fred kalu

i what know u idea of compressor machines thanks.

Chris Phoenix, CRN

Tom, the other advantage is incremental improvement of the design. It's hard to improve a design when you have to pay $20,000 for each mold. But if you can rapid-prototype, then you can fiddle with the design. You can try new ideas a lot faster when it costs $20 instead of $20,000. And when you get a good design, you have no mold costs to pay off. And less engineering cost, because a lot of the engineering will be hobby, because there'll be lower barrier to entry for hobbyists.


Chris Phoenix, CRN

Fred Kalu, you'll have to be more specific.


Brett Bellmore

Not to mention that processes like stereolithography are capable of producing products that you can't make in other ways; I recall seeing at a trade show once, an interlocking gear train made at one go in a stereolithography machine, that had parts which could never have been assembled together, if they hadn't been made already interlocking.


Kitmondo is an online marketplace for used plastic machinery and rubber
machinery including blow moulding, recycling, moulding, plastic lines,
extrusion, mixers & blenders, printing & finishing and thermoforming


Would you mind sending me more details with pictures on Reprap as i am curious about it- Thanking u, vinod ar

Chris Phoenix, CRN

Vinod, Google can find everything I can find.


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