[linux-elitists] NYC LOCAL: Wednesday 11 July 2007 NYLUG: Zach Smith on Or All the Seas with von Neumann Oysters
Sat Jul 7 00:21:56 PDT 2007
what="official NYLUG announcement">
From: John Bacall <email@example.com>
To: NYLUG Announcements <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2007 09:45:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: [nylug-announce] NYLUG Wednesday 11 July General Meeting Presents:
Zach Smith -on- Open Source Manufacturing and RepRap
Open Source Manufacturing and RepRap
This Wednesday 11 July meeting is refreshingly unique. A project with
goals extraordinary. Simply, the bootstrapping of objects by other
objects. A thing making another thing, or its own thing. =)
RepRap is an open source project to create a self replicating 3D
printing machine. With this machine the goal is to one day be able to
automatically create a variety of real objects, including a copy of
the machine itself. This technology is the core of something our
speaker, Zach Smith likes to call open source manufacturing. The way
it works is that you design an object using software, and then the
machine takes that design and turns it into a finished product. You
can then choose to share your virtual object with anyone in the
The first version of the machine is currently under development, but
Zach Smith and the rest of the RepRap Project are very close to
finished. Basically a Cartesian Robot, a 3D positioning system, moves
a print head across a build surface. The print head is a
thermoplastic extruder. A custom-built, juiced up hot glue gun. It
heats and pushes plastic through a tiny nozzle to form a stream of
plastic that is laid down line by line, layer by layer to form a
complete object. Voila!
There are 4 main areas in the project, and all are released under the
GPL. First, there is the host software that controls the printer,
written in Java. Second, there is the firmware, written in C that
processes and executes the commands from the host software. Third are
the electronics designs, which are used to manufacture the boards.
Finally, there are the mechanical designs for the actual printed
The project as a whole spans many disciplines, from software to
electronics to mechanics. There is an interesting problem here for
everyone, no matter what your skills are.
Points of interest.
* A NASA study has concluded that creating a self replicating
is roughly the same difficulty as creating a Pentium 4 chip.
* Currently there are 50-75 people actively attempting to create a
* RepRap hopes to announce successful self-replication by 2008.
3D printing is an amazing technology, and has vast potential. If
efforts such as the RepRap project's are successful then anyone that
wants a 3D printing device will be able to have one. With all the
spectacular implications to our economies and possibly humanity. Far
fetched? Pie in the sky?
Hear Zach Smith detail it for you this Wednesday, July 11th.
About Zach Smith:
Zach Smith is a 23 year old DNA based self-replicating human. His
primary interests are girls, the internet, robots, cool stuff, and
making things. His favorite color is green, and he enjoys being
alive. He works for an awesome company (Connected Ventures) making
an ``awesome website.'' (vimeo.com)
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LXNY is New York's Free Computing Organization.
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