Why go to all this trouble? Aren’t there plenty of manufacturing machines in the world already?
I hear variations of this question all the time, directly and by implication.
Its a fundamental question that gets to the heart of what this projects purpose is, as well:
“Ease and democratize access to the means of production…” or to quote RepRap Founder Adrian Bowyer “Wealth without money…”
A good analogy of what the this systems purpose is, can be illustrated by personal printers:
In the first records of the history of movable type usage in Europe, Johannes Gutenburg is said to have begun developing an Idea he had for the printing press in 1439.
The fully operational press was working by 1450.
In 1950 (500 years later) manual typesetting was still an regular occupation.
But 30 years later almost nothing was manually typeset anymore. Today, few people think about the incredible degree of automation applied to producing documents, and anyone can own a full printing plant for a few days wages.
This is what automating production of printed documents has brought and the process is nearly identical to what CubeSpawn’s intended purpose is: but for all the rest of physical goods, using both additive and subtractive processes, as well as assembly.
But rather that try to build some end to end process from scratch, assembling a reliable framework for machines working cooperatively, then creating a physical object with those machines becomes very similar to printing in all ways: Digitally design some needed or wanted thing, press “GO” and go pick up the result.
But the complexity of all the intervening processes make this a tough problem.
lucky for us, the internet has a solution!: Collaboration and reuse, i.e Open Source. So CubeSpawn is a framework for people to build interchangeable modules to solve manufacturing automation problems and distribute their ideas. Our team will be focusing on The framework itself, and then manufacturing machines as the first modules so that with only a few machines, you’ll be able to make the parts for… : More machines!
As each new manufacturing machine is added to the collection, it brings us closer to the day when the system can make a larger percentage of its own parts, and add new capabilities (like making the parts on the machines you have, for a machine you don’t have, or creating an upgrade your machines, ON your machines. As you can see after a few cycles of this, it should be possible to create nearly all the system on the system!!
Add in materials recycling and the “Wealth without money” quote above starts to seem less idealistic.
Join the project!! Where can we take this?