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Walkabout is a project where a volunteer loans parts to the RepRap community for 3 months to a decade+.

Working Notes

These are notes we need to formalize.

Simple Version

"Sure I'll loan you a machine. You've got your electronics together and everything else ready, right?"

Complicated Version

  • 10 Anna has a RepRap, makes a daughter RepRap (or the plastic parts)
  • 20 Anna loans the daughter RepRap (or parts) to Bob for ~2 * time to build, print.
  • 25 Bob builds, prints.
  • 30 Bob passes a machine (etc.) on to Carol.

Rinse, repeat, GOTO 10

Inset: There's a slight relation to something which might be a 'koa chain' of gifts, as per "Doorways in the Sand" by Zelazny, but I don't have another citation for it. This is more like seed corn or a barnraising, anyway.

Resource Distribution Protocols (This is the messy part)

Q: Do we need a mechanism to stamp out bad actors {procrastinators/people who don't return library books}?

A: I hope the community will take care of that. This is functionally a gift economy, which use built in human software (shame, compassion, etc) to enforce reputations. We can just have Carol gently nudge/ax Bob if Bob is having trouble. And normally Anna will wait until Bob has his motors spinning and his extruder working before passing on the set of parts.

If Bob is mucking around with something that belongs to the commons, we the commons will have to take care of it, in a compassionate/hand ax sort of way. And there will be a blog and flickr feed that follows the machine. It starts at a robotics club at a community college, then goes to a local k-12 school robot club, then over to a robotics club/artist run center in another city, and so on.

It's really Anna's decision what happens to the machine she loaned to the commons. Carol, or whoever, has it in trust. If Anna wants, she can donate it to sort of nebulous RepRap group, and we'll take care of it, gently nudging bad actors while meaningfully sharpening an ax.

Eventually we can use a PHP widget backed up by a database at 'walkabout.reprap.org' or something, but meh. We can also have Bob put in a refundable deposit before checking out the machine, and having RepRap or something hold the money in escrow, but all that overhead is tedious and might throttle the project.

Philosophy of Practice for this Project