Tuesday, September 06, 2005

New idea - desktop manufacturing

[See previous new idea]

Wired 13.09: The Dream Factory

From the article: I have a friend who uses this service. Right now the problem is the cost when you are prototyping, which can get absurd. With luck the cost drops over the next year or two, and "desktop manufacturing" becomes as commonplace as "desktop publishing".

Hi Marshall;

In October 2004, I began tracking the rise of personal fabrication as Inkjet printers were hacked into crude fabricators. But I never imagined it would unfold as fast as this. We are now on the verge of self-replicating fabricators and self assembling, replicating, and repairing robots... all in less than a year.

My research began when I discovered Inkjet printers being harnessed to produce physical objects. A growing array of computer parts, complete working gadgets and solar cells emerged from the widening jaw of the humble inkjet.

Then the pace quickened. Researchers Hod Lipson and Jordan B. Pollack at Brandeis University coupled inkjet technology and software to autonomously design and fabricate robots without human intervention. Other labs were using Inkjets to produce actual human skin complete with blood vessels. Hod Lipson also recently pointed out the arrival of simple self replicating robots.

Around the same time, engineers at the University of Bath developing a machine that can rapid prototype and replicate itself. Meanwhile, in early May, Neil Gershenfeld, director of MIT Center for Bits and Atoms, announced his determination to produce affordable, replicating personal fabricators by 2025.

We're very close.
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