Local Technology and Arts Collective Holding Weekend Seminar on Self-Replicating Tools
Washington, DC – January 24-25, 2009.
HacDC, the Washington, DC-area technology and arts collective, is presenting a free, open to the public two-day event over the weekend of January 24th – 25th. Attendees will participate in the construction and use of a remarkable open source tool, the "Replicating Rapid Prototyper" or RepRap. Anyone can make a RepRap machine, using parts made by another person with a similar machine, and a few additional parts that can be found online or from a local hardware store. RepRap is capable of making a nearly complete copy of itself, given a small amount of (possibly recycled) plastic. Once the machine is made, the user can download designs for other objects from the Internet or create their own designs, which can then be printed with the RepRap machine.
The two-day sessions will include talks by RepRap founders and pioneers, as well as demonstrations by local experimenters who have built their own RepRaps and contributed to the development of the system. After the talks, the seminar participants will participate in the construction of a RepRap from the ground up. Attendees will complete this process during the seminar, providing a great opportunity for everyone to get some experience assembling and using a RepRap. Smaller breakout sessions on related topics, such as stepper
motor function, microcontroller programming and 3D modeling will be presented, in order to provide the attendees with the skills needed to construct and use the RepRap system.
The event will take place at HacDC's headquarters at 1525 Newton Street in northwest Washington, DC. The events will start at 10:00am on Saturday, January 24 and end on Sunday the 25th at 3:00pm. For more information, see the HacDC website at: http://hacdc.org/2008/12/11/reprap-build-a-t
The process of "desktop manufacturing" is coming of age - like the personal computer in the 1970s, such systems are either very expensive, or the purview of a few hobbyists in their garages. But like the personal computer before it, the desktop manufacturing revolution is breaking out. The RepRap, like other open-source
projects such as the Linux operating system and the Firefox browser, is allowing anyone with the patience and interest to participate. HacDC and other organizations throughout the world want to see that this technology can be widely understood and utilized by the public. As a result, HacDC (along with other area technology groups such as B/WRUG, Make:DC and DC Dorkbot) are presenting this event, and making it free and open to the public.
The RepRap Project is an initiative aimed at creating a largely self-replicating machine which can be used for rapid prototyping and manufacturing. A rapid prototyper is a 3D printer that is able to fabricate three dimensional artifacts from a computer-based model.
Project authors describe 'self-replication', understood as the ability to reproduce the components necessary to build another version of itself, as one of the goals for the project. This will allow the number of RepRaps to increase exponentially to meet demand. The authors further speculate that, due to the Open Source nature of the project, RepRap will eventually demonstrate evolution, improving and increasing its capabilities over time. This gives RepRap the potential to become a powerful disruptive technology, similar to the Internet, the home computer, and the automobile. For more information, see the RepRap website at: http://www.reprap.org.
Baltimore RepRap Users Group
(briandolge at yahoo dot com)
HacDC is a District of Columbia Non-Profit Corporation whose mission is to improve the world by creatively rethinking technology. Specifically by building and maintaining spaces suitable for technical and social collaboration. HacDC collaborates on all forms of technology, culture and craft in new and interesting ways, while applying the results of its work to specific cultural, charitable and scientific causes. HacDC freely shares its research and discoveries, using what is learned to teach others, and actively recruits and develops talented members dedicated to these efforts.
(ndf at hacdc dot org)
1525 Newton St NW
Washington DC 20010 USA