First self-replicating machine makes an appearance

First self-replicating machine makes an appearance


By Jeff Hecht (Image: RepRap) DEVICES capable of reproducing themselves came one step closer to reality this week as a 3D printer – assembled from parts made by an identical 3D printer – went on display at the Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK. The replica can in turn print the parts needed to build another copy, and so on. Technophobes needn’t run for the hills just yet. The replicating rapid-prototyper, or “RepRap”, can only reproduce its plastic parts, not its metal or electronic components. And assembling it is an afternoon’s work for a human being, says Adrian Bowyer,
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