Imagine a future where anyone in the world could build their own everyday items… along with the plans for a machine to build them out of accessible materials. Every single bit of R&D would be done by someone who was passionate about the subject, and all their work would be documented online daily, available for re-use by anyone. From kids in an struggling African school, to the biggest corporations around the world.
Sound far fetched? It is happening now! hackerspaces.org is an emerging online community of professional and auteur tinkerers, working together to make open source designs for many high tech fields, perhaps the most notable of which is 3D printing. The machine below has been developed by enthusiasts around the world, and can be built for around $1000. A commercial version would be in the order of $30,000. It can print almost any shape in 3D out of plastic.
I am a member of the Melbourne chapter, called hackmelbourne.org. We meet every meet every Tuesday evening in Camberwell.
The power of this collaboration is in it’s scalability. I don’t know where this movement is headed, but I like it!