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Computer, print me a new computer

December 2nd, 2005

Desktop manufacturing is one of those ideas that sometimes seems obvious and inevitable, sometimes a bit too good to be true and sometimes completely off the planet, depending on the angle at which you look at it. If it happened, it would certainly make a huge difference, creating up the potential for open-source everything.

David Pescovitz has the optimistic version of the story.

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  1. Terje Petersen
    December 2nd, 2005 at 19:11 | #1

    *sometimes completely of the planet

    I am sure you mean “off” the planet.

  2. Ian Gould
    December 2nd, 2005 at 21:12 | #2

    “open-source everything.”

    Wait ’til people start downloading guns off the internet

  3. jquiggin
    December 2nd, 2005 at 22:01 | #3

    Quite right, Terje. Fixed now, thanks.

  4. December 3rd, 2005 at 02:31 | #4

    downloading guns, now you’re talking. My lifelong glee at the thought of a misfortune in the howard family may be somewhat mitigated by an availability of guns on the net. Ian, what a grand idea!

  5. conrad
    December 3rd, 2005 at 07:10 | #5

    I believe there are in fact already 3D CAD to rapid prototype tools that allow you to create simple solid objects out of a bit of plastic with some effort (like a 3D printer). It certainly isn’t printing an entire device, but it is still impressive.

    Digging around on the web I found a link to a number of other links

    http://www.caddigest.com/subjects/rapid_prototyping.htm

    which might be of interest.

  6. December 5th, 2005 at 13:25 | #6

    Well, you can already assemble (biological) viruses. As soon as someone releases the smallpox genome, that will be back. There’s no real way of stopping that, just delaying it.

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