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Replicating Replicating Machines

Replicating Replicating Machines

RepRap is short for Replicating Rapid-prototyper. It is the practical self-copying 3D printer shown on the right – a self-replicating machine. This 3D printer builds the component up in layers of plastic. This technology already exists, but the cheapest commercial machine would cost you about 30,000 Euro. And it isn’t even designed so that it can make itself. So what the RepRap team are doing is to develop and to give away the designs for a much cheaper machine with the novel capability of being able to self-copy (material costs will be about 400 Euro). … We are distributing the RepRap machine at no cost to everyone under the GNU General Public Licence. … We hope to announce self-replication in 2008, though the machine that will do it – RepRap Version 1.0 “Darwin” – can be built now.

Is this the beginning of the Star Trek style replicator? Imagine, open source replicators – coding the capacity to create physical objects – boggles the mind really…

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