The RepRap machine. Photo: Adrian Bowyer
Will the RepRap machine bring a new manufacturing and the end of consumerism?
20th July, 2010
3D printing machines such as the 'RepRap' already allow people to design and 'print out' products at home. Could this be the beginning of the end for traditional, capitalist manufacturing?
Little Maddy is furious. Her face has gone bright red from holding her breath, multiple dried lines of tears on her plump toddler face. To view the rest of this article - you must be a paying subscriber and Login
Maddy is in the throes of a tantrum because she can’t wear her favorite pair of shoes. She’s outgrown them. Her mother has repeatedly bought the same pair of shoes as she’s grown older - there are now four pairs in a box in the basement - but Maddy is now too big for the style. What’s a mother to do?
Maddy’s mother calms her daughter, and heads to her computer. She downloads the shoe specs from the shoe company’s website onto a memory stick, takes the old shoes and some empty plastic bottles from the recycling bin and heads to the techshop that’s just opened on the high-street. It has a 3D printer available for public use three days a week, and can turn a new pair of shoes ‘while-u-wait’.
Coming to a future near you...
This is the intermediate future, according to Dr Adrian Bowyer, of the University of Bath’s Innovative Design and Manufacturing Research Centre. Bowyer was one of the principle contributors to the RepRap open source...
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