“We are trying to get this technology into as many hands as possible,” Malone told New Scientist. “The kit is designed to be as simple as possible.” Once the parts have been bought, a normal soldering iron and a few screwdrivers are enough to put it together.
Malone and Lipson hope Fab@Home will grow into a community of enthusiasts who share designs for 3D objects and even modify the machines for themselves. This will prompt the emergence of widespread personal fabrication, Lipson hopes.
“We think it’s a similar story to computers,” he explains. “Mainframes had existed for years, but personal computing only took off in the late seventies.” A cheap self-assembly computer called the Altair 8800, launched in 1975, sparked the rapid development of personal computing
Bowyer adds that (…) “I can imagine people swapping plans of things to make online, or paying to download them instead of going to the shop.”