# Bringing faster change

Posted by Ant
 Bringing faster change December 27, 2008 08:40AM Registered: 13 years ago Posts: 73
The RepRap idea is based on first make a machine, and that machine can make another machine, and so on. The speed of that is at first very slow. It might take a RepRap several months to produce enough parts to make a clone of itself. Down the road, when there's millions of RepRaps out there, it'll take several months to make millions more, so the process speeds up over time.

Mass production can make millions almost immediately, with a little initial investment. Mass production costs a lot initially, but produces fast almost immediately.

I'm creating a machine with mass production in mind. It'll be made of several mass produced parts. Some of the parts will be bought cheap as surplus components, of which I'll buy in large quantities to make sure I've got a supply for the future.
I'm going to be buying 1000 motors, for example. The main drive motors, I'm going to buy 1000 of them at \$1 each.

Combine these two philosophies, and what do you get?

Imagine for a moment. Initially producing machines super cheap by mass producing them. Later on, producing more machines by cloning them.

This means we'll be able to broadcast these machines to the world in an extremely short time.

We don't need to specifically design the machine to be able to reproduce itself. It will be easy to redesign it to be able to reproduce itself, once we have the machines to work with. How much faster could all of use work, if we had a machine on our desk that could produce the parts we need. How much faster would we work if we didn't need to buy parts, if we could just make them. How much faster will our progress be, if we had millions of machines out there, with millions of people working with them.

Rather than starting from one machine and slowly duplicating it, we'll soon be able to produce a million machines and start duplicating them, millions at a time, rather than one at a time.

In short, your plan is: 1 x 2 = 2 2 x 2 = 4 4 x 2 = 8 8 x 2 = 16
My plan is 1,000,000 x 2 = 2,000,000 2,000,000 x 2 = 4,000,000 etc.

Who's going to get there first?

Tony
 Re: Bringing faster change December 27, 2008 10:33AM Registered: 15 years ago Posts: 550
I'm pretty sure reprap will

Don't get me wrong Tony,
but at this very moment it's
reprap: ~100 machines; ~4 machines duplicating
ant's vision : 0 machines; 0 machines duplicating

and whatever you think how many machines you will have in the future, you don't have any yet.
darvins are fact, not fiction and they do work, and they duplicate.

You say you intend to make an initial set of 1000 machines.
Very good, go ahead, build ONE, then another one,
maybe you intend to just pack the kits and ship them... fine..
and if you have the initial set of 1000 ready to go (or sold and shipped), I think there are at least 1000 darvins (or even mendels) either.
So we have the same startup from then, don't we...

Just one main difference: yours didn't replicate by intention it needs to be modified (at least that's what you just said) so it'S
1000 darvins build let's say 800 new ones
1000 antbots build ... wow hard to guess.... depending on what needs to be modified... 200 new ones!?

jm2c
'sid
 Re: Bringing faster change December 27, 2008 12:34PM Admin Registered: 15 years ago Posts: 1,915
Adrian estimates that there are currently between one and two thousand Darwins and variants either operational {after a fashion} or under construction. Given that there were only five operational Reprap machines as late as April of this year that ain't too shabby.

-------------------------------------------------------

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas A. Edison
 Re: Bringing faster change December 27, 2008 01:45PM Registered: 15 years ago Posts: 31
The trick, of course, is that millions of people won't just up and buy those machines. Maybe hundreds would, if you're really lucky, at this stage. And then the cost of the moulds for injection moulding or any other very-high-volume process would make it not so cheap anymore.

And if you go to something that doesn't require tooling for the part, well... that's what we're doing right now... we rather /are/ leveraging a preexisting base of machines to build our initial set of machines. That's why we've got the laser cut variants - laser cutters for acrylic are readily available, and cheaper than milling negatives in blocks of steel for each part.

Anybody capable of worthwhile contribution at this point needs to be capable of putting a machine together from one of the parts kits, or needs to become capable of it. It isn't hurting the relevant part of our install base for development to use laser cutting instead of injection moulding for the size of community we have right now.

I don't know how much money you have to throw at it, but I certainly don't have several million dollars to throw at tooling up and doing a large enough production run on the premise that I'll sell enough of the machines to make it back. As it stands, the growth curve is plenty fast enough - consider that with a guess of two months per machine, and starting with a single machine (which we aren't) it takes a grand total of four years to pass sixteen million repraps. Two and a third years to pass a million if you take into account that we're looking at ~100 seed machines right now. And that's assuming that there is no speedup like something like a coarse infill head might provide, or lightened designs, or anything like that. Can you raise several million dollars for a gamble product, design a new machine, and market it successfully in four years? And will you be able to keep up with the six thousand four hundred people who could have a reprap doing development after a single year, given that every redesign means paying tooling costs over again?

Of course, it probably won't grow that fast because there aren't enough people interested yet. But that just means that producing a million machines now would be an even worse investment. Doubling every couple months is plenty, given that we've already had a couple years of working on getting it started - a few more months won't hurt anything. And that's a few more months discounting new ponokoraps, and with the expenditure distributed such that nobody needs to raise millions at once to get a massive run of machines done. Social aspects are going to be much more the limiting factor in growth, not the reproductive capacity of the machines. (Incidentally, starting from one machine, it theoretically would take around 5 1/2 years at two months per generation to exceed the world population. Exponential growth is like that.)

In short, unless I see you throwing around the (very large amounts of) cash to do it, I'd not expect you to be able to beat an already-started exponential curve at anything like the doubling rate we're expecting with a newly-started development and funding process.
 Re: Bringing faster change December 27, 2008 03:09PM Admin Registered: 15 years ago Posts: 1,915
I think the problem with Tony's idea is much more basic than that. Basically, you don't get production funding either from investors or in a corporation's internal budget to do what he proposes unless you either have a proven design or an engineering team with a proven record of being able to do similar things.

Besides that, as jonored points out, there has to be an identified market out there before investors are going to pony up capital.

Fanatics like us have a hard time realising that even Darwin, with as many copies of it floating around as there are, is miles and miles from being a "proven design" never mind all of the one-off Repstraps like my own. We have only the sketchiest idea of what it's mean time to failure beyond the fact that it is measured in hours, not months.

The extruder is giving us the most fits right at the moment. Once we have a better design for that, and Ian's double gearmotor design seems to be the most solid at the moment, we're going to be facing things like belt wear, structural fatigue and a host of other issues.

Tony is an arm-chair designer. Mind, that's not a bad thing. Most of us aren't too far from that definition, either.

-------------------------------------------------------

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas A. Edison
 Re: Bringing faster change December 27, 2008 04:48PM Registered: 13 years ago Posts: 73
Arm chair designer??? I'm seriously about to give up on the people in this forum. Not for that comment, but rather for the unwillingless to consider new ideas and the unwillingness to help one another.

From what I have seen in this forum, there is very little helping other people, which is typical in forums. People in forums hardly ever have any interest in helping anyone else, which I believe is because they are text only communication.

You people are forgetting the fact that only a small percentage of the machines will make copies for other people to use. Most machines will never be finished. Many machines will be used for one person's benefit. Only a small percentage left, and that percentage will not produce clones fast enough.

As for the armchair designer remark, I'm an engineer with 20 years experience, I know manufacturing, electronics, mechanics. and programming. Mostly in manufacturing. I know how to do it cheap, and I know how to make make it rigid and accurate, and I know how much it will cost. My friend and I will be able to do this ourselves. It'll take about a year, but we'll get it done.

I'll probably quit coming to this forum for one reason, and that is that it is a waste of time. I'm far better off spending my time making the machine, and not talking to people on this forum. I have found some use in this forum, in links that people leave on the forum, but that is it, so I'll keep checking for links every so often.

I've quit almost all forums I've gone to, just a bad habit that I've not quite broken myself of yet.

I suggest you people learn to communicate better, learn to respect people, learn to trust people, to make the forum more useful.

Tony
 Re: Bringing faster change December 27, 2008 05:06PM Admin Registered: 15 years ago Posts: 1,915
Ant Wrote:
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>
> I suggest you people learn to communicate better,
>
Okey dokey. You've finally really pissed me off.
>
> learn to respect people, >

I recall a little comment of yours from not that long ago, viz,

Still... I wouldn't mind at all if you all would work on improving the extrusion and let me worry about improving machine accuracy. If you think your machines are accurate enough, fine, work on the extruder.

You mustn't ask for what you are unwilling to give.

Tony, you may well be all that you say you are. Around here, though, people tend to get respect on the basis what they've done on the Reprap project, not what they talk about doing.

This whole project is about creativity and much more importantly, sweat equity. When you get around to actually doing something, you'll get the respect you're demanding. So far, however, twenty years or two hundred you've done zip to earn any and gone out of your way to piss people who are putting in the hours off royally.

Don't prescribe behaviours you're unwilling to exhibit.

-------------------------------------------------------

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas A. Edison
 Re: Bringing faster change December 27, 2008 08:27PM Registered: 15 years ago Posts: 550
Tony,
you have twenty years of experience in manufacturing, mechanics, electronics and programming...
I guess I can add design to that list.

Just one question then:
Did you ever talk to people in those twenty years of work;
or did you just spoke to them?
Because you certainly miss one year experience in personnel management

Really, maybe things get lost in translation here for me,
but you sound like some 12yo that wasn't allowed to join a rollercoaster.

"What I intend to do is best, so stop whatever you're after and DO what I tell you to"
"If you don't do like I say, you're dumb"
"Uuhhhh if you don't even see, that I'm the best I'll leave instantly"

Doesn't sound very grown up, does it?

I cannot speak for any other person in this forum, but all question I had were answered, I got all the help I needed (and much much more than that)
I was offered help and parts even without asking for it.
The people in here are kind, generous and friendly at least to me,
so maybe it's because I am the great master of psychic influence or because you behave somewhat.... well let me find the right word.... [strange].
(we talked about what you intend to say, what you write, what we read and what we think you intend to say earlier this month, right?)
So some of us answered your question as good as we can,
but to your dissatisfaction and you start grumping again.

We have a saying:
If you don't want to hear the answers, don't ask the question!

'sid
 Re: Bringing faster change December 27, 2008 08:54PM Registered: 13 years ago Posts: 251
Ant Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Arm chair designer??? I'm seriously about to give
> up on the people in this forum. Not for that
> comment, but rather for the unwillingless to
> consider new ideas and the unwillingness to help
> one another.
>
> From what I have seen in this forum, there is very
> little helping other people, which is typical in
> forums. People in forums hardly ever have any> interest in helping anyone else, which I believe
> is because they are text only communication.

Tony,

I hate to rain on your parade, but I have to wonder whether you're reading the same forums that I am(?!?) There are *frequent* requests for help, and copious help/suggestions given. The most recent I've seen (and IMHO far from unique) is this thread: [forums.reprap.org]

If you read it, you'll see a reprapper asking for help debugging a stepper motor problem, and other reprappers (including Nophead and me) asking questions to clarify how his system is misbehaving -- and suggesting things to try. This is by no means unique. My impression is that a substantial fraction of the forum traffic is messages to/from reprappers looking for help/advise/suggestions, etc.

Similarly, posters frequently exchange help on where to get useful parts, materials and tools. Brian R. recently made a batch of extruder parts (the ones that are hard to make without machine tools), and sold them to reprappers for (IMHO) a very reasonable (if not charitable) price. That helped those reprappers, big time! Help is being sought and is being provided, all the time.

> I'll probably quit coming to this forum for one
> reason, and that is that it is a waste of time.

If you don't get value out of reading the forums, you are (of course) free to stop.

> I'm far better off spending my time making the
> machine, and not talking to people on this forum.

I'd like to suggest that you re-read your own posts for tone.
IMHO, you might ponder whether your assertions (so far, not substantiated that I can see), that you can design a system so much faster/stiffer/more accurate/etc than what *ALL* the reprappers have done to date (many of whom have working repstraps/repraps that ARE making parts) might be perceived (by those same reprappers) as criticism -- criticism from somebody who has (so far) not demonstrated any results.

If you show some specific results or ideas to the group -- a sketch, a CAD file, a photograph, a youtube/vimeo vid -- or even a detailed description of a specific improvement,
then
(a) people will understand your ideas better and
(b) you'll begin establish some credibility in the group.

If you develop a system that "smokes" the current design, I (for one) will be most impressed. But simply stating that "I can do it so much better than all of you" -- without evidence, comes across as somewhat arrogant, in my opinion.

I hope you'll continue taking part in the reprap community. IMHO there are sharp people posting here, that are interested in helping one another and contributing to a worthwhile project.

My \$0.02

Larry Pfeffer,

My blog about building repstrap Cerberus:
[repstrap-cerberus.blogspot.com]
 Re: Bringing faster change December 27, 2008 10:06PM Registered: 14 years ago Posts: 213
I'd just like to say that I'm very impressed with the people who have patiently answered Tony's questions without flaming. Given the nature of some of his comments, just stating facts in return would be a mild flame.

I thought of answering at times, but I didn't see how I could without fire. Somehow others found a way

All I can suggest is keep on answering courteous people with the great deal of time and care you've shown. Whenever arrogant or rude people write, continue to be polite with them, but spend little time doing so, because in my opinion the time spent speaking to them is usually wasted.
 Re: Bringing faster change December 28, 2008 03:56PM Admin Registered: 15 years ago Posts: 1,915
Ant Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> I'll probably quit coming to this forum for one
> reason, and that is that it is a waste of time.
>
> I've quit almost all forums I've gone to, just a
> bad habit that I've not quite broken myself of
> yet.
>
>
Tony, if you've come on to other fora like you have this one I can't say that I'm surprised that you've met a hostile audience. You sometimes come on as arrogant, directive, hostile and pretty repellent, to me anyway.

I went back and reread all of your posts. I'd say about 80% of the time you had a pretty normal and positive interaction with the other Reprappers. When things seemed to go wrong was when you were presenting how you thought things ought to be done. That seemed to be when your dark side came out. Inevitably, how you thought things ought to be done was pretty much the antithesis of what people were already doing in the community. It's unreasonable to think that you weren't going to come up against some opposition, especially given the tone you seem to adopt when you decide to go antithetical.

I'm doing a lot of stuff that is antithetical to mainstream Reprap work. I'm doing a single board controller design, which no less than Dr. Bowyer himself has publicly said, to my face, is a complete dead end. I think he's wrong and I think that I have the controller board to prove it. I didn't, however, get in a huff and leave. Adrian has his opinion and I have mine. Time will tell who is right and who isn't. Who knows? We might both have workable solutions. We might both have unworkable solutions. One of us might be right on that issue and the other wrong. Anything could ultimately happen. The point that I think that both Adrian and I remember is, though, that whatever happens we're ultimately more likely to have a workable solution.

Your notion that a production line is going to ultimately be the way that 3D printers go might be right. Lots of people here though are working on the presumption that self-reproduction is right. Expect there to be tension till some sort of denouement occurs. That creative tension is hugely critical to the creative process when more than one person is involved. If you don't have it you get groupthink and creative solutions never occur. If you exacerbate the tension, however, the advantages of having a lot of people working on the project disappear because the group flies apart.

The late TS Kuhn even wrote a book about it, called appropriately "The Essential Tension"

[www.amazon.com]

Reprap needs fires of dissent in order to progress. It doesn't, however, need people throwing napalm on them. The art of a running a successful project is keeping them hot, but not incinerating the whole project with them.

Want to take a crack at it?

-------------------------------------------------------

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas A. Edison
 Re: Bringing faster change December 28, 2008 11:40PM Registered: 14 years ago Posts: 622
I really think it's very interesting to see these sorts of tensions pop up every now and then. There is some sort of rhythm to it with an essential period. You could almost model it probably. Very fascinating even after having been the cause of some myself. Hehe... ;-)

I wonder what is the difference between these sorts of things in forums that die and ones that continue to live on like RepRap?

Demented
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