Friday, June 06, 2008

RepRap replicates, and Will gets a New Toy

On the left is Adrian Bowyer, the University of Bath professor who started the RepRap project. On the right is Vik Olliver, the most active RepRap builder on the planet. The two machines marked "parent" and "child" are RepRap 3D printers with the interesting relationship that the "child" was mostly built by the "parent". This is a HUGE STEP toward Bowyer's vision wherein RepRaps make more RepRaps and humans benefit. This will do for physical goods what the GPL and Linux and Apache have done for software.

My own news is, at least locally, equally exciting. My CNC mill has finally arrived! And I also got an Arduino controller. I've got my stepper motors from RRRF, and a Harbor Freight router is on the way. It's going to take time to put everything together, and of course there's very little spare time in the life of a modern adult.

Once the CNC mill is up and running, I plan to work on a scheme for swapping out the router and swapping in an extruder for thermoplastic. By that time the RepRap guys will be doing even better than they're doing today, so I will benefit from their stuff. Maybe I'll end up making an actual RepRap before I'm through.