October 01, 2007
I love this sort of thing. We now have at least three projects for making homebrew 3D fabrication systems (aka Fabbers). These are systems that take models and turn them into 3D objects, typically through incrementally depositing layers of material to build up the final object.
CandyFab uses a very low-tech approach using sugar and a sort of blowtorch to make models. It can make some really big interesting shapes in edible melted sugar; birthday cake decorations will never be the same again.
Fab@Home is more old school, and can make some rather nifty plastic objects. The fabber itself is rather nice looking, and looks less like something could go horrifically wrong when printing.
RepRap is going for a homebrew self-replicating (!) 3D printer that can work in a wide range of materials.
Here at the University of Bolton we have some commercial fabbers kicking around - perhaps we could use them to print parts for some of these "open source" fabbers?
As all fabbers take as their input various forms of 3D model, I'm sure as time goes on we'll get the first fabber that can make a Voodoo doll out of someone's Second Life avatar. Profit!