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

From: John Eric Voltin (
Date: Thu Mar 24 2005 - 16:22:31 EET

Hello Adrian,

Thanks for your response. You make some interesting points and this topic
has clearly brought out a wide variety of opinions on RP-ML.

I was imagining a very complex system with specialized components such as a
high power laser, motor controllers, an array of sensors, etc. Many of
these would either be purchased separately or the RP system in question
would be much more capable than those in use today. In contrast, you may be
talking about a different type of RP system that minimizes the need for such
specialized hardware. What are you imagining?

 - John

John Eric Voltin
Mechanical Engineer
Agile Technology

----- Original Message -----
From: "Adrian Bowyer" <>
To: "John Eric Voltin" <>
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2005 5:46 AM
Subject: Re: [rp-ml] New machines could turn homes into small factories
> If I may presume to say so, you're asking the wrong question, vis: "Look
> at this conventional RP machine. How do we get it to make another?"
> Whereas another way to look at it is: "We have a machine that can make
> things in two materials (say): an insulator and a conductor. How can we
> use that to make a _similar_ machine that could make the majority of its
> components?"
> Answers to that then lead to two subsequent questions:
> 1. What are the minority of bits that are left?
> To answer that, we're not going to try to make electric motors and
> microcontrollers because they're too complicated and they're too cheap to
> bother.
> 2. How do we maintain accuracy down the generations?
> This is far more interesting. But it is a problem that has been
> completely solved in conventional manufacturing by callibration. Lathes
> have not been getting progressively less accurate since Whitworth. Quite
> the reverse. And as soon as you have a computer in the loop, you can
> store all sorts of maps to turn merely repeatable systems into accurate
> ones and so on.
> Yours
> Adrian Bowyer

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