Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Build a better RepRap: $80,000 Prize

The Foresight Institute has announced its Kartik M. Gada Humanitarian Innovation Prize to design and build a better RepRap. There is an interim prize of $20,000, and a grand prize of $80,000. They consulted with the core RepRap team before the announcement and we were initially concerned that the prizes might drive developers to secrecy in order to give themselves a competitive edge. As you will see they have addressed those concerns by making it a condition of winning the prize that solutions should be pre-published and made available under a free licence. For ourselves and on your behalf, we would like to thank the Institute for the enthusiasm that these prizes demonstrate for the RepRap project and for their magnificent generosity.

Reprappers: to your designs! To your experiments!

Congratulations. This could really raise the profile of the project.
Huh. Cool.
Now that I've actually read the rules, all I can say is that their ambition is commensurate with the prize. $200 total cost? 300x300x100 build volume? PCB printing? Replication in ten days, with only one jam?


The grand prize is even better! They're talking automated assembly! Man.

The rules are also a little unclear on the grand prize. Is the $200 limit for the entire system?
"All technology developed by participating teams becomes open source under a BSD license. "

RepRap uses GPL.
Yes, I like this prize (except for the BSD/GPL incompatibility) although it might introduce new dynamics to project participant than the current nonmarket motivations...
Right now most people are intrinsically motivated. They improve the RepRap because they like to do so. Social factors and generalized exchange are also very strong.
This is something that might attract extrinsically motivated people, since studies have shown that these tend to do more incremental work. This might benefit the project, but the funny thing is that intrinsically motivated, passionate people are the ones that will generate the breakthrough innovations.
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Is there a group of people interested in joining that contest?
I am interested in getting involved.

We're using this forum to host teams:
announce your idea, and see who joins you.

Or introduce yourself "Looking for team?" maybe.
I pointed out the BSD/GPL problem to them and they fixed it immediately (see the competition webpage) - so thanks to the Foresight Institute again.
Yus - well given that the total prize money is less than the monthly turnover of those makerbot things...

...well, better than a slap in the face with a cold kipper etc - but these specs are pretty demanding. If (or when) someone manages to "win the prize" they're probably sitting on something that's worth an awful lot more than that in kitsets and whatnot.

As an aside, I was at that thing in Wellington a week or so ago - and there was a genuine 2nd generation machine... ie: parts built form the first. I can see there being a point where traceability of lineage becomes quite bankable.

Still. It's not all about money :)
Hi, my concept is totaly built on the shoulders of the RepRap Project, So credit where its due:

while its currently being developed I think it has a lot to offer: given that I'm taking a different approach, this aims to use multiple processes automated together rather than trying to adapt/encapsulate multiple processes to a single device.
Please see it at - think of it as a modular repstrap/milling machine hybrid initially, with more features as time passes. Thanks, James
The Gada Prize has been re-announced at Humanity+. You can also see details on the forum.

- Bryan
1 512 203 0507
What other machines could even be in the running?
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