Gada prize for personal manufacturing announced.

If you've been following my blog for a while you've no doubt picked up on my interest in 3D printing and the open source fabber called the RepRap. It seems that I'm not the only person who's been keeping a sharp eye on this particular technology. The Gada Prize (formerly the Kartik M. Gada Humanitarian Innovation Prize in Personal Manufacturing) has been announced to advance the state of the art in 3D printing and personal manufacture by putting up $20kus to the person or team whose project meets certain criteria by 31 December 2012. The prize appears to be aimed …

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Busy times, crazy life.

It's been a really busy week or two so I haven't had time to write much. I realize that it's only common sense, but I still find it amusing that I have the least time to write about what's going on when the most is happening. Funny, how that happens. Anyway, once the opportunity presents itself I like sitting down to make an attempt at describing everything that's been happening. I've mostly been posting hit and run messages to Twitter lately (like everybody else on the planet these days) because I can do that without looking up from everything else …

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Chaos, robots, and Faith and the Muse - all in DC!

Last Friday evening brought with a second attempt at the Chaos in DC meetup in Silver Spring, Maryland. I'd driven out there straight from work because I wound up leaving the office late, and when you factor in travel time it really wasn't a good idea to to do too much driving that night. In other words, there was no way I was going to drive two hours home through rush hour traffic on the DC Beltway, get there when the meetup began to pick up a few things and meet up with Jason, and then drive two hours back …

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Gada personal manufacturing prize announced!

The Foresight Institute, a think tank concentrating on the possibilities and potential hazards of emerging and potentially disruptive technologies has announced the Kartik M. Gada Personal Manufacturing Prize totaling $100kus. Part of an effort to spur the development of rapid fabrication and manufacturing technologies at the grassroots level, the prize aims to help bootstrap the quality of life of people living in the twenty most poor economies on the planet. The idea is to lower the cost of entry to the field of manufacturing commodity personal goods by making use of recyclable materials and cheap to construct additive fabbers. The …

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AR contact lenses and 3D printed handcuff keys.

It’s long been a trope of science fiction where one of the characters has the capacity for superhuman access to data in realtime, usually through prosthetic eyes that incorporate heads-up displays that make geospatial coordinates and targeting information available without the distraction of having to look down at a monitor of some kind. In point of fact, this isn’t anything particularly new. Fighter jets like the FA-18 have long had transparent monitors positioned directly in the pilot’s field of vision that incorporate much of the information of the instruments on the panel. Players of first-person shooters like …

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The RepRap build-a-thon in review.

The weekend of the RepRap build-a-thon at HacDC started off simply: Lyssa and I went to dinner at Konami. We haven't been out for sushi for a number of months, due to my getting sick there in 2007. However, the food is still good and we enjoyed ourselves. I was unusually popular that night; my cellphone kept ringing every few minutes for various and sundry reasons. After dinner I dropped Lyssa off at home, loaded my gear into the trunk of my car, and headed to Hasufin's to pick him up because we were off to HacDC to help set …

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Schedule of events for HacDC Build-A-Thon tomorrow!

The final schedule of events for tomorrow's RepRap build-a-thon has been announced:

Saturday, 24 January 2009
Main Auditorium
10:00am Welcome and introductions
10:30am Plenary: "The RepRap Project" by Zach ‘Hoeken’ Smith, Director, RepRap Research Foundation
11:15am RepRap Technology Overview from Local RepRap Builders
11:45am Activities Outline by R. Mark Adams
12:00pm Break for Lunch
1:00pm Build the Cartesian Robot with Zach ‘Hoeken’ Smith

HacDC Workshop
1:00pm Assemble the RepRap Electronics
1:00pm Learn to Solder Breakout with MAKE:DC's Adam Koeppel
2:00pm Arduino Basics Breakout with HacDC's R. Mark Adams
3:00pm …

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RepRap Build-A-Thon at HacDC, 24-25 January 2009.

Please distribute widely!

On 24 and 25 January 2008, HacDC, a hacker space located in Washington, DC will be holding a RepRap build-a-thon in conjunction with the Baltimore RepRap User's Group. The build-a-thon starts at 10:00am EST5EDT on Saturday and will run until 3:00pm EST5EDT Sunday.

The RepRap is an open source rapid prototyper which is unusual in two ways: first, it is affordable for the home hobbyist to both construct and operate (typically, it costs $500us to build a RepRap from scrach, compared to the $49,000+ that industrial rapid prototypers cost). Second, the RepRap is capable …

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