Place: Medialab-Prado. Plaza de las Letras, C/ Alameda, 15 · Madrid
Look at your computer setup. Imagine if you hooked up a 3D printer. Instead of printing on bits of paper this 3D printer makes real, robust, mechanical items. To give you an idea of how robust these items are think of Lego bricks and you're in the right area. You could make lots of useful stuff, but interestingly you could also make most of the parts to make another 3D printer. That would be a machine that could copy itself.
This talk will be about RepRap - the Replicating Rapid-prototyper. This 3D printer will make items by building them up in layers of plastic. This technology already exists, but the cheapest commercial machine would cost you EUR 30,000. 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 EUR 500). That way it'll be accessible to small communities in the developing world as well as individuals in the developed world. Anyone will be able to swap designs for anything to be made on RepRap using the Internet in the same way that music is currently shared.
The RepRap machine is being distributed entirely free to everyone using open-source - so, if you have one, you can make another and give it to a friend...
by Adrian Bowyer