A RepRap In Every Home?

RepRap project

If you haven’t heard of the RepRap, take a gander at the official website. Official sort of, because the project is being developed using open source software. This means that in theory at least everyone can contribute to it, certainly everyone can join the discussion.

A RepRap is a turbo-charged 3-D printer; these have actually been around since the 1980s but in recent years not only has the price of the new technology fallen but all manner of wonderful new uses have been postulated and indeed are in actual development. To take an extreme example, it will be possible in the not-too-distant future to print houses which will probably be used in the first instance in disaster zones. Printing food, designer drugs and even human body organs like the liver have also been promised.

The RepRap isn’t that far developed yet, but within a few years it will have reshaped the world economy in much the same way as the Internet. It has enormous potential especially in Africa and the poorer areas of Asia where ultimately it will do a lot more to eradicate poverty than any of these charities that urge us to give, give, give.

5 axis 3d printer created by Øyvind Kallevik Grutle

5 axis 3d printer created by Øyvind Kallevik Grutle

The latest RepRap news comes from Sweden where a Masters student has developed a machine that is capable of printing exotic shapes that have previously been if not impossible then incredibly difficult to assemble. Check it out, and if you can’t afford to buy a RepRap yet, there may soon come a day when you won’t be able to afford not to.

About the author

Alexander Baron