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Thoughts about creating

Posted by Anonymous User 
Anonymous User
Thoughts about creating
November 18, 2007 11:02PM
It would be great to have a generalistic creation machine, but I have been thinking about what is actually being done. I love the Internet and open source and have been wanting to see more of the Internet in real life. I don't see a problem with creation of forms, but this device would remove many restrictions.

Let's say I want to create a circuit board. I could send it to Kingfield Electronics. They would actually create the item and send it to me. It is like a virtual printer. Let's say they see a copyright violation. "Sorry, sir, this is under copyright we cannot do this." I don't mean to break the law, but the RepRap doesn't ask questions. The RepRap will become the new peer-to-peer. My thoughts are not to break the law, but to figure out what the device can actually do. With music, the money is from the music, not the CD.

The RepRap would remove the need for some shipping. It would create a new distribution method. As the Internet sped up the transfer of information, RepRap will speed up the transfer of objects. The RepRap won't fix any problems with copyright. What if I wanted an Xbox? Even though the object is not an idea, objects contain ideas. So, I can't create a Xbox, because Microsoft owns the design. However, I can bypass this, because Microsoft doesn't know what I do in my house. Do the television networks know when you record a show?
Re: Thoughts about creating
November 19, 2007 12:48AM

A tough problem both economically and ethically. I think the ethical issues are felt more by older generations and less by younger as a direct result of open source, peer-to-peer, and wikimedia-style internet usage. The Internet has made things so open that younger generations don't see the need for all the fuss about "ownership" of something they can get for free. It doesn't make sense to them.

Economically, as you pointed out, Microsoft doesn't know what goes on in your home. Have you really violated any laws if you make an XBox for yourself and not for others for a profit? I'm not sure. Can an auto manufacturer stop me from copying their CVT design for my home-brew car? I don't think they can even if they found out. I'm not sure where the world stands on this issue and we won't know until it becomes a problem.

Re: Thoughts about creating
November 19, 2007 01:08AM
"Microsoft doesn't know what goes on in your home."

ROTFLMAO! Obviously spoken by a man who doesn't use Vista as an OS. smiling bouncing smiley
Re: Thoughts about creating
November 19, 2007 07:12AM
No, I use Linux--two flavors: Ubuntu and Fedora Core 6--and occasionally Windows XP SP 2. I'm not particularly proud of that last one but...I have to run AutoCAD for school and such. sad smiley

Re: Thoughts about creating
November 19, 2007 06:54PM
My understanding of copyright law is, you can make a copy for your own use, but can't turn a profit from it. I don't know if you can make a copy to use in your business or not.
Keep in mind, I am not a lawyer, and don't even play one on TV.
Anonymous User
Re: Thoughts about creating
November 19, 2007 09:17PM
From [www.uspto.gov]
The right conferred by the patent grant is, in the language of the statute and of the grant itself,
Re: Thoughts about creating
November 20, 2007 08:03PM
hmm. It would seem that I'm not legally allowed to do something someone else has done before me. That is ridiculous. The very idea of someone else being able to stop me from "making" something is retarded.

Perhaps I'm a bit weird or something but the right of people to make things seems about as fundamental as the right to freedom of speech. What could we do if we, as humans, were not able to better our own position in life by building stuff we want or need.

I think we will see a huge upheaval in relation to this issue as things take off. This will make copyright infringement look like spilt milk.

Re: Thoughts about creating
November 20, 2007 08:09PM
Another thought just occurred to me!

What about "dangerous" items? I'm not just talking like guns and bombs and such like. But what about electronics that break down under high temperatures to produce toxic gases? Mostly laws and stuff have evolved around industry to keep this kind of hazard to a minimum but without those laws and such being able to be enforced, we will likely see a rash of new accidents and tragedies.

What can be done in the way of RepRap development to ensure a reasonable modicum of safety after build? There is another thread dealing with the fire hazard of the RepRap itself but I haven't seen anything on this angle. Is it the development's responsibility or the user's?

Re: Thoughts about creating
November 20, 2007 09:13PM
I'd say it is on par with home cooking. I hope we have the freedom to do stupid things (like eat beef that sat out for 12 hours unrefridgerated). However, when you endanger other people...

This is the issue modern society doesn't know what to do with. Individual rights vs. nanny state / endangering those around you. Things like spouse abuse are difficult issues when it comes to laws and police. Within your home, you are allowed to behave to a different standard than when in public. Example: Standards for home cooking vs. restaurant where you sell food commercially.

But what do you do when people are endangering people in a house? Children is a similar sticky area. Ultimately, we seem to be favoring giving up our rights and privacy in the name of security/safety. Majority wins on that one, slowly but surely.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/2007 09:16PM by RoundSparrow.
Well, you either respect intellectual property or you don't. The arguments have been hashed to death in both directions and everyone knows that the internet and advancing computer technology have been making it harder to enforce IP law since the days of Betamax, BBS and Xerox. For what it's worth the main things pirated on a RepRap in the near future will be designs intended for use on RepRap- As in somebody designs a nifty geegaw and offers the model for download for $x.xx and soon finds it on Ukranian torrent servers, etc. Some general purpose 3D models may get lifted but I would bet that a RepRap model will need enough specialized code (materials, order of deposition, size, orientation, etc.) that creating new models will be just as easy.
But most of what makes an X-box an X-box is software and custom IC chips. Neither of these will be within RepRaps capabilities any time soon. Same goes for CVT joints and pharmacuticals. As I've said elsewhere, I think in a few years RepRap will be able to produce most everyday objects, but effective motors and some electronic components are as far as I can see the direct descendents of our machines going. Even the motors and electronics will still be better and cheaper via mass production for the foreseeable. New technologies will be needed to deal with things like printing IC chips and doing chemical synthisis. Not that those technologies won't come but debating them now is just hot air (not that I mind hot air, but do we want a special hot air board?).
This is a fundamental problem, not just for RepRap but for humanity. Simply put, if I give you the ability to do harm, what is my responsibility?
The easy answer is none. If I build a bomb and strap it to your body it is not my fault if you go and blow yourself up in an elementary school. Unfortunately, the argument complicates as the tools become less specialized, a gun, a hatchet, a pillow. Still, common sense seems to indicate that society should control access to dangerous items.
A lot of attempts are made to qualify the need to stop people from doing dangerous things and most don't hold much water.
The idea that we should focus on bad intent or crime is attractive but misses the point. I have one friend who was shot and another who was injured by chlorine gas, neither was much comforted by the fact that they were the victums of stupidity rather than malice.
In the same way the idea that it is OK to hurt just yourself, or just your family and friends, or anyone who lets you hurt them, or anyone you want as long as you don't turn a profit, ignores the fact that vanishingly few, if any of us live in a way such that what happens to us matters to no one else. If you see your nieghbors more than weekly then your decomposing body will present a health hazard if nothing else.
So it's off to cost/benefit analysis. Guns have safeties, cars have emission controls, it is likely that RepRap will have some sort of constraints placed on it. Given the FOS nature of the project they will doubtless be partial and evadable (probably optional) but there none the less. As long as fabbers in general remain hobbyist projects they are today then it can be argued that anyone who made a RepRap to make a plastic gun could have just made the gun. The pressure to regulate will come when turnkey systems become available. Governments have long held the right to regulate the traffic in dangerous devices. Similarly, few parents will want a fabber in their home if it will allow little Johnny produce hand grenades at the push of a button, or if it produces an electric carving knife without an off switch.
So, how do you write software to make it hard to do anything too dangerous with a RepRap yet still make it useful? First off, control the availability of models. This site already refuses to post weapon models. If most general use fabbers come with a menu of items or a controlled database of models, %90 of the problem is solved.
%90 of the remaining problems could be solved by including a few routines that check the structural characteristics of the model. For instance: "Don't print anything with an edge less than 1mm wide and an inside angle less than 90 degrees." "Don't print anything with a bursting strength of more than 100 psi." Already we've disposed of knives, guns and bombs.
"No exposed conductors" "Any motorized device must have a shutoff at the point of action." OK so the last 2 are a little more than structure checks, but the idea is that relatively low grade AI could check a model for obvious dangers and refuse to process the slices for printing. Obviously the commercial or workshop versions of the software would have fewer if any restrictions. Perhaps they would notify someone if you made something in the size and shape of a trigger sear. Perhaps not.
My point seems to be that if RepRap is ever going to be more than a hacker tool this issue will need to be addressed in a socially responsible way.
Re: Thoughts about creating- Dangerous Doings
November 21, 2007 12:10PM
Brian Dolge Wrote:
> %90 of the remaining problems could be solved by
> including a few routines that check the structural
> characteristics of the model. For instance:
> "Don't print anything with an edge less than 1mm
> wide and an inside angle less than 90 degrees."
> "Don't print anything with a bursting strength of
> more than 100 psi." Already we've disposed of
> knives, guns and bombs.

The problem is, I can think of legitimate uses for blades and pressure containers. Plus, anyone who's really determined to make weapons will disable the checks. It's open-source, after all.
Re: Thoughts about creating
November 21, 2007 04:07PM
... i think not the ability of the fabber to build possible dangerous items is in question, but the person behind, which designs and uses the produced parts ...

When i was 7, we assembled small 'one-shot-handguns' from an old key, a nail, a spring (or elastic) and some strike-heads - they banged wery loud and if you made it 'wrong', then the nail could go away and do serious harm.

None of the single parts is marked as 'dangerous', maybe the strikes are a hint, but they are much to common ...

For me the reprap isn't a danger for people in particular, more a danger for the market and the industrial complex.

Imagine, everyone can start a 'one-man'-fabbing complex in his basement, which supports him, his family, then friends and neighbours with all the hardware, they'll need ...

In the beginning only coarse (but absolutely free in design) objects from plastics and hardened/cured pastes, later with evolving methods ever more different materials and capabilities, until it reaches a kind of 'Omega-point', where you can build practically everything with hierarchical complexity from complete houses, over furniture to tools and sophisticated hardware to submicron structures of electronics or even biochemical systems as food ...

When you think the evolving way over the next decades, then the main danger comes not from the reprap or the users, but from the market (or even the government), which fears losses and will start to fight back, for rescueing their claims and money-sources ...


PS: if my english isn't so plain, then excuse me - i hope my pointing is clear ...
To quote an emminent expert of widely acknowledged intelligence, (not to mention charm, modesty and good looks)-

Brian Dolge wrote:
Given the FOS nature of the project they
[software constraints on what RepRap will
produce] will doubtless be partial and
evadable (probably optional) but [they will
be] there none the less.

Obviously the commercial or workshop versions
of the software would have fewer if any

So what I'm talking about is a time after the project starts forking. Obviously anyone who is smart and capable enough to build or program their own RepRap will build or program it to make whatever they want. Also enough people need blades and pressure bottles that someone will have to have a machine capable of making them. Perhaps such a machine would insist that you click "agree to some equivalent of an MSD before it prints your thing, or perhaps it sends email to the BATF when you start making plastic machine gun parts. Whatever. The "housebroken" machines I am talking about are turnkey, consumer type machines designed to take RepRap "to the masses" and so they need to be made safe for children and other incompetents. Most people need new knives and pressure bottles rarely enough that they would (I believe) be willing to go see the neighborhood handyman for those things in exchange for the assurance that little Johnny is not going to accidentally kill his sister with a poorly drawn miniature race car. It is obviously impossible to make a useful tool that can NEVER be used for harm, but the project can protect itself from a lot of repercussions by making it evident that anyone who does something evil or stupid did it in spite of RepRap rather than becuse of it.
Re: Thoughts about creating
November 22, 2007 12:43PM
i'm pretty sure that adrian and the core team are very libertarian on this issue. we are mainly concerned with making a machine that is capable or producing itself as well as many useful objects. obviously we're going to try and make it as safe as possible, but once its out of our hands, theres no way we can control what people make with it.

i dont know if you have experience with software or not, but trying to put checks into the software to prevent people from making certain things is nearly impossible and will probably make the software less reliable... certainly something we dont want to attempt.

take linux for example. would it make sense to put things into the TCP/IP stack to prevent people from using it for hacking? of course not.

people are more than welcome to make a fork and attempt it, but you're going to have a damn hard time convincing the RepRap team to intentionally disable our machine =)
Re: Thoughts about creating
November 22, 2007 01:08PM
I, for one, don't want a crippled machine, and I wouldn't want to give such a thing to anyone I cared to call friend.

I think the government has too much say over the going ons of the individual as it is. I don't want to give them more ability to regulate. With ability comes activity. If they can regulate, they will. It's in the nature of the beast.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/2007 01:10PM by Sean Roach.
Re: Thoughts about creating
November 22, 2007 01:41PM
I agree with Sean. Given the chance to constrain, the government will. On the other hand, I don't think the world is ready--or even can be ready--for the masses to have the easy ability to produce. It is too much of a shift.

Going back to something Brian said a few posts back...People always underestimate how fast technology grows according to Ray Kurzweil. Technology grows causing the pace of technological discovery to grow causing technology to grow...ad nauseum. Watch out or this thing will bite you in the butt when you are thinking that things should still be in the rudimentary stages.

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