Mission Statement

Dear Reader,

It is my personal belief that all human beings have an innate desire to create, be that artwork, written work, song, engineering, or scientific knowledge.

However I also believe that most people do not wish to become engineers or scientists, these two groups are uniquely different to most; we wish to engage in living on "the bleeding edge" of what is possible to create and/or understand. A lifestyle that is not suited to most people - as any romantic partner of an engineer knows, a workshop is a messy place - a sort of organized chaos, often the house of such like-minded people is an equally strange environment. Some parts finished to an immaculate quality that cannot be purchased, others missing such simplicity as a plastered wall.

Those who resonate with the day-to-day effort to optimize and improve their environments are often drawn between many projects, all of which to them have equal value, yet to most seem fruitless. In a real world example, a close friend recently asked me: "Why spend all that time making your own 3D printer when you can just buy one?". My answers ranged from the knowledge I would gain, through to the cost-effectiveness of building my own, yet none seemed to garner a resonate understanding of my feelings in him.

I also believe that the world as it stands today does not properly enable most people to create. I am currently unemployed, through personal choice. While I will try to avoid the topics of modern socio-economics and politics, I care not for Capitalism, nor the alternatives of Socialism or Communism. I see our outlooks on economics and politics to be outdated ideas ripe for change. However for the moment I will focus on what I can change, rather than what I cannot.

I choose to be unemployed, and exist on a very frugal expenditure because I would rather spend my time attempting to better myself and humanity.

This strange way of life has taught me many lessons, from dietary needs, through to human kindness - but most of all it has taught me about waste.

Any environmentalist will chastise us all for our waste, the tons of plastic and metal we throw away as garbage, but none provide any honest solution. It is one thing to declare something is wrong, it is another altogether to provide a solution that an average individual can accommodate.

My hope is that through this 'blog' and other media I can provide some degree of meritorious action that other like-minded engineers and scientists can make use of, inspired by a single phrase;
"I'm willing to bet that you've brought one of those famed Starfleet engineers who can turn rocks into replicators."
This is of course a line from Star Trek, a work of fiction that has elicited great devotion and hatred alike. However the concept is (to me at least) the ultimate ideal of the engineer. A person that with the correct equipment can produce whatever is needed, even their own equipment.

This is a parable of the long march of progress, our ancestors had no tools nor fire, yet once we mastered simple tools (such as the flint axe), we opened the doorway to new technologies. It is important to remember that despite the incredible technology at our disposal today, we achieved it from quite literally nothing-up.

Modern economic  systems rely on mass-production and global-traffic, we buy steel-beams ready-made, processors and electronics prepackaged. We don't ask how the iron and carbon came to be, nor where the silicon and plastic came from. More often than not, these are extracted or created by hand, often by underpaid third world workers.

We all know Iron, Copper, and ore metals are in the ground 'somewhere', we also are fully aware the objects we dispose of contain useful materials and parts - though for the most part no mechanism yet exists to reuse them locally. Many governments have created recycling schemes, yet we have no interest in recycling within our own homes. This cannot continue forever.

My objective is to provide a singular set of modular tools allowing an engineer to use what others take for granted, to turn as it were, rocks and waste into replicators. A set of tools through which a single person could begin to build home and workshop from nothing-up.

As anyone who has seen the wonderful Primitive Technology YouTube channel is aware, one can work with sticks and rocks towards shelter and metal, but this process can be accelerated by orders of magnitude using pre-existing technology that exists today. After all, our steel beams and electronics come from somewhere.

The RepRap project was of course a wonderful concept, to create a machine that can in turn create itself; however complex electronics and metals cannot be 3D printed with ease, not today anyway. Yet we do have the machinery to make them in the world today.

So instead I propose a new idea, a Seed Unit capable of (with enough time and human labor) replicating itself. This is certainly not a Von-Neumann probe, it is not 100% automated, nor is it for those not inclined towards engineering or the sciences. However it would allow individuals like myself to homestead in any environment on this earth, and perhaps in the far future - other worlds. However for today it is to address one simple concern, the ability for people to create. If my neighbor today asks me to 3D-print a spoon or vase, I will happily oblige them. Yet should they ask for a calculator, or part to repair their car, I cannot.

I dream of a day very soon when I can answer that call with a simple "Yes of course." I long for the day my engineering ability could provide scientists with fresh tools as easily as a musician with a new instrument; a day when I could provide food and shelter to those in need without any cost other than time. I dream of a world without famine or want - a world that we can, even should, have. This dream, and what little steps I can achieve towards it, I share freely.

It is not my place to dream of star-ships and space colonies; I fear I will not live to see such things. I simply wish to make a better today, so that eventually someone may have such a dream, and just perhaps, should we be lucky enough, see it through to fruition.