Re: How RP turns into the PF? Introducing RP to the mass market.

From: Josh McCormick (
Date: Mon Feb 12 2001 - 22:37:17 EET

Marshall Burns wrote:
> Thanks to Josh for some interesting ideas about proliferation of fabber
> technology. (Josh, I take if that by "PF" you mean "personal fabber." Is
> that right?)

Correct. I'm not hip to all the lingo just yet. :)

> Along these lines, people may be interested in something we just posted last
> night on our site. It's a brief description of a talk I'm giving with a
> partner later this week in San Francisco at the O'Reilly Conference on
> peer-to-peer computing. The title of the talk is "Napster Fabbing--Internet
> Delivery of Physical Products" and it's at

And that's the kind of stuff that is going to be interesting. Although
I'm surprised not to see a mention of the potential of this mixed in
with an Open Source model. The specifications of an object being freely
available, and modifyable, and usable, with modifications going to a
central source for evaluation. Rapid prototyping, peer evaluation, and
of course, personal fabrication.

I read a mention about business models. One such idea (again, consumer
market) would be along the path of a Lego Mindstorms. You create a
platform (rules) for which an object are based and how they
interconnect. But the company creates the specific non-fabbable
components that consumers are going to need. (Be this something
technical like the Mindstorms, cute little dolls, whatever.)

As a side, but interesting note, there are people who build large and
unique objects from LEGOs. For example, a full-sized office desk!
Imagine what a personal fabrication device would be capable, which just
made small, simple lego type objects.

LEGO is in just the right position to leverage this technology.

Combine a PF with Lego and Open Source, and you've got a MONSTER waiting
to explode! Pardon me while I walk away with my new business model... :)

Another interesting commercial variation would be the 'made to order
cabbage patch kids' type model. With a large variety of pre-defined
attributes (head, face, torso, limbs) that could be selectable and
created on the fly.

One of your mentioned sites was "". It looks interesting,
but to be somewhat of a manual process, still. What if it were
*automated* where the head/hair/body/limbs were either replaced with
stock models, or certain parts based on sillohette, and the actual face
was digitized and painted on? An automated process such as this would go
a long ways to mainstreaming the technology. These things need to be
placed in stores and built on the spot. [Please no voo-doo doll jokes,
okay?] Otherwise, why not just forget toybuilder and instead pay someone
$200 to have them make one by hand?

Anyhow, those are my ramblings for now. :)

Josh McCormick
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