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In the works He also has a “ton of other printers” he has yet to design but readily admits that there are other things that have to take priority before they are developed further. One of these is a better filament drive, another is more documentation for the existing designs - the well-known dilemma of wanting to support existing work and yet enjoy the freedom of following new ideas. He also wants to explore alternative means to producing beta runs, which leads to yet another idea... ConceptFORGE is itself still in the early concept stages, but its goals are farreaching and go way beyond simply printer designs. As Nicholas explains: “My ultimate goal with ConceptFORGE is to provide a place for people like me to collaborate on OSHW [Open Source Hardware].”. The forge would form a distributed manufacturing network, connecting designers and inventors, such as Nicholas, with other individuals or small businesses who offer their services in the manufacture and distribution of their ideas. Manufacturers of any capacity could participate in the

network to offer services which help monetise their machines. Designers would have a platform for their products, and people might also be able to commission designs too. “I want to build up a web enabled toolkit that can make this [collaboration] accessible to all.” To seed the forge he is considering taking small steps, building up products, kits and services along the way, using his own printer designs alongside others which fit the ConceptFORGE catalogue. Production may come from their own bot-farm or could be contracted out to other providers as necessary. The idea is not limited to only 3D printing but can expand into milling, laser cutting, and more. This correlates with thinking within the maker community, and expressed by some for example at the TCT Live show earlier this year, that 3D printing is one aspect of the much broader landscape which is digital manufacturing. Taking advantage of the increasingly easy means of networking, plus the reduced barriers to entry, so that more people can produce and share projects they are passionate about. The digital part is also something Nicholas would like to pursue. He currently teaches computer science at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, a position he describes as his dream job. This follows a career of teaching engineering, math and science subjects at high school level. The job not only provides a team of willing assistants, who are currently building the LISA prototype along with

Left: A filament drive problem caused the print failure. Middle: Printed without tweaking the bowden extruder. Right: With bowden modifications. REPRAPMAGAZINE


RepRap Magazine Issue 3  

The third issue of RepRap Magazine. Interview with Nicholas Seward, Paste Extrusion, Hot-Ends, and much more.

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