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RepRap: open source 3D printing @ FSCONS 2010

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The RepRap project is a thriving community that develops an open source 3D printer that fabricates not only arbitrary objects, but also the parts to make more 3D printers. Besides being interesting in itself, the project provides valuable indications of the impact of affordable digital production tools. I will show how a distributed community is enabled to collaboratively develop not only the software but also physical innovations and content, independent of manufacturers. I will also show how a commons of open source 3D content can emerge and how this further lowers the barriers for individuals to innovate and express themselves. It is exciting to see more and more individuals empowered to participate in this expanded scope of open source. Possibly, projects like the RepRap will revolutionize "making" not entirely unlike the PC and Linux have done for computing.

In addition to proliferation of digital fabrication tools such as RepRaps, there are important trends that hint at the significance of this emerging trend. Development of open source development toolchains, easy-to-use and/or free CAD software and cheap MaaS (Manufacturing as a Service) are unleashing the creative potential of eventually every person on this planet. I argue for more broad recognition of the positive welfare implication of this open and distributed mode of production. I will speculate that further emergence of the phenomenon may have far reaching implications for the meaning of property when even physical matter can be copied or shared as easily as software.

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RepRap: open source 3D printing @ FSCONS 2010

  1. 1. RepRap and Free and Open Hardware @ErikDeBruijn
  2. 2. Impact Freedom to copy software is an important right because it is easy now – any computer can do it. Freedom to copy hardware is not as important, because copying hardware is hard to do. – Richard Stallman on Linux Today, 1999
  3. 3. It is important “Easy, anyone can do it” 1. Any computer can copy software 2. Anyone has a computer FOR SOFTWARE:
  4. 4. It is important “Easy, anyone can do it” 1. Any fabricator can copy hardware 2. Anyone has a fabricator FOR HARDWARE: Driven by:  Low cost  Ease of use  Capabilities  Discovery of applications  Word-of-mouth  Etc.
  5. 5. Open source in hardware ● Increasingly important as more people can have fabrication resources, ● as there are more motives to actually adopt these resources, ● as collaboration becomes easier (partly endogenous to the community's ecosystem)
  6. 6. Viability of Open Design ● Motives ● Benefits ● Other incentives ● Means / Opportunity ● Community ● Infrastructure
  7. 7. Motives ● Intellectual challenge & achievement “Technically challenging, fun potentially useful, developing skills.” ● Autonomy ● Benefits ● Relatedness / community ● Meaning ”Hope to change the world by democratizing design and manufacture of material goods. good for freedom, good for planet.”
  8. 8. What would you make? iPhone Dock? A replacement buckle? A tiny violin? A whistle? (with pea inside) Art, gifts? Caps for LED-candles?
  9. 9. Toys (for all ages)
  10. 10.   Do Don't!
  11. 11.   Do Don't! thing://1672
  12. 12. MediBrace by juniortan http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3982
  13. 13. Spare parts Threat or opportunity?
  14. 14. Making: Replacements or extensions  
  15. 15. Open Source Fusion powered by  3D printed parts
  16. 16. Benefits and incentives ● Make things that producers aren't inclined to  provide (low demand, low profitability, brand  image, patents, etc.) ● Get things customized, faster ● Innovate independently or in communities ● Repair ● Do It Yourself – Do It Together!
  17. 17. http://www.thingiverse.com/Erik
  18. 18. Replacement parts schaakstuk kwijt?                 onderdeel stuk? http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3982
  19. 19. Fixing your blender
  20. 20. Intrinsic motivations ● Intrinsic motivation creates more creative results ● People requires no monitoring, and informal governance can be enough ● People like to share!
  21. 21. The means to do Open Design ● Money? ● Community – Access to knowledge, spreading workload, etc. ● Infrastructure – Fabricators – Sharing platforms – A commons of physical designs
  22. 22. • Online proposal for an open source standard construction kit • Extruded aluminum beam • Suitable for mass production: high up-front costs • Crowdfunded by 132 people • > 17k in pledges received in months
  23. 23. The means to do Open Design ✔ Money? ● Community – Access to knowledge, spreading workload, etc. ● Infrastructure – Fabricators – Sharing platforms – A commons of physical designs
  24. 24. Community growth 4~5 x Moore's Law
  25. 25. 4~5 x (log scale) Moore's Law Community growth
  26. 26. Proliferation of OS Fab. Equip. RepRap & derivatives Industry Giant (Stratasys) R&D manpower > 1000 people (145-182 FTE R&D) 100 people ~100 FTE R&D R&D expenditure $ 384,000 – 478,000 ~ $ 7.5 mln. Yearly growth 2005-2010: 400–600% Yearly growth & decline 2006-2009: -17%–17%
  27. 27. The means to do Open Design ✔ Money? ✔ Community – Access to knowledge, spreading workload, etc. ● Infrastructure – Fabricators – Sharing platforms – A commons of physical designs
  28. 28. Infrastructure: Fabricators Affordable & open!
  29. 29. version 1.0 CC-SA-BY Erik de Bruijn
  30. 30. - version 2.0
  31. 31. RepRap version 3.0? Video
  32. 32. Version 4.0: Self-assembly Download: www.thingiverse.com/thing:978 RepRap version 4.0? Video
  33. 33. RepRap versie 5.0
  34. 34. A commons of components Robot modules or even complete robots Micro 'factories' and complete 3D printers Personal 3D Printer
  35. 35. The means to do Open Design ✔ Money? ✔ Community – Access to knowledge, spreading workload, etc. ✔ Infrastructure ✔ Fabricators ✔ Sharing platforms ✔ A commons of physical designs
  36. 36. Main take away ● You can participate in creating the open source revolution in physical designs!
  37. 37. More info Main project: www.RepRap.org Companies: www.Makerbot.com www.Ultimaker.com, etc. Other projects: www.makerbeam.com , www.Thingiverse.com Videos: www.youtube.com/erikdb Twitter: @erikdebruijn My Company: www.BudgetDedicated.com
  38. 38. References • Discussion • Further infomation o My blog: http://erikdebruijn.nl o p2pfoundation.org o RepRap project: www.RepRap.org o RepLab.org - creating open replicable FabLab's o Democratizing Innovation (By Eric von Hippel) and user innovation literature o Thingiverse objects:  Personal 3D printer (thing:815) mail-me@ErikDeBruijn.nl My vCard:

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