It may seem like I’m making a big deal about nothing…but I can assure you that I’m not. My jaw dropped, and I pumped my fist in the air at my desk when I saw this BoingBoing post: RepRap universal constructor achieves self-replication. Not that I didn’t think it would happen…but to see it, to see the post…it’s awesome.
I feel strongly that rapid fabrication technologies are the Free Software of …well, of hardware. Of real stuff. A RepRap (more properly, one of the rapidly evolving descendants) plus information will be making stuff for you in a relatively short time. Things that today you would buy from someone who purchased it from a distributor who has a deal with a wholesaler that ships it by the container-full from China. And your
stuff can be customized at manufacture for you; not the kinda-but-not-quite what I wanted that you get from the store. Designs of both items and replicators will be shared, and will evolve. I can’t wait.