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08 April 2008

Self-Replicating 3D printer

This is essentially a printer that can print itself out (= reproduce), and is Open Source and free. Being still a research project, when it's functional I'm guessing it will spread like wildfire.

Rise of the machines anyone?


Eli said...

While the idea sounds terrific(*), from reading the website it looks like rubbish.

Plastic 3-D "printers" are not a new technology, mechanical engineers are using them to build mock-ups and models for at least a few years, for prices affordable to mechanical shops.
But I'm really curious how these guys intend to "print" the printer's hardware (especially the integrated circuits) and software, metallic parts, wires, and so on.

(*) I'm sure Hofstadter would've been ecstatic

ripper234 said...

Yeah, the article really doesn't reveal much if anything of how this is achieved.

As I said, it still looks like a research project, but you have to admit that in theory the idea is possible. I have not investigated how these 3D printers even work, but beyond "difficult engineering" problems I don't see why this product can't exist now or in the near future. The robot dog I wrote about before would have surely seem like SciFi 10-15 years ago.