Re: [rp-ml] New machines could turn homes into small factories

From: John Eric Voltin (
Date: Wed Mar 23 2005 - 15:03:28 EET

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the article, but it describes using RP machines to produce most of the components for new RP machines without incurring an enormous cost. Although the concept is theoretically very interesting, we have a long way to go before such a task is possible. To actually achieve such a goal, RP systems would have to be capable of producing parts from a very wide variety of materials at a reasonable/economical cost. Additionally, for such a project to be viable, the parts produced have to be completely functional for some minimum amount of time within the environment of the new RP machine. In other words, limited use parts would not be acceptable. The article mentions building a RP system for a few hundred pounds. I assume the cost of building a new RP machine would include both the material and operational costs of the machine used to make the new system. Its a bit hard to imagine building all of the necessary components in different materials, buying a variety of complex components such as ICs, and assembling a finished RP system for a few hundred pounds (roughly $500 US).

For the record, I would be thrilled to see this goal achieved.

 - John

John Eric Voltin
Mechanical Engineer
Agile Technology

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