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Marshall Smith
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Aleph Objects (Lulzbot) is a Loveland, CO based company that is open source. They started with a modified RepRap but now have some very nice models called the Taz and the Taz Mini as well as a dual extruder kit. I have heard them speak about their open source philosophy and it's exciting to see it work for a real physical products company. I remember them talking about how their sources and costs were available somewhere on their website. 
I wonder if any US 3D printer companies would be interested in sharing sources of 3D printer components. I've always offered all info on sources and cost to other competitors. Sometimes I get cheaper parts, sometimes they do. I don't think sourcing offers significant pricing advantages, but it can boost the bottom line. If a third party company was running the show, they could even sell the parts to the public for decent margin. Without sounding like price fixing or collusion, it would lower overhead for all by limiting the multi vendor sourcing efforts. We all are doing the same thing and wasting by replicating efforts where it doesn't offer competitive advantage.

Open source companies like us are used to sharing knowledge, but it may make some nervous. Different companies have different specialties, too, that could be leveraged. There may be some cross pollination that would happen.

For instance, if people liked our extruder, they could implement it at my cost and economies of scale help both of us. Or our wiring people could cut costs by bundling orders (a more complicated example, mind you). Or if you use our electronics, I have a full pick and place line, cutting great deals on utilizing our unused manufacturing time could benefit both. Maybe we injection mold for others, or someone else could do our injection molding.

Direct competitors have a history in the US working together when it results in a win-win.

Think of the RepRap kits we could offer if the entire industry got together. Maybe we could rival Chinese prices. Maybe the big billion dollar competitor's deep pockets wouldn't matter as much.

Thoughts?

Brook

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The Loveland Creatorspace moved to its new home today. The grand opening is scheduled for January 9th, 2015
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12/13/14
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More than policy disagreements, this is the real problem I have with Obama:

“That's why we went to the White House to say, Mr. President we want to work with you on issues of jobs, the economy, affordable energy, and health care. And I was astonished during that whole lunch, the President didn't ask us anything about that at all. He just was so focused on this executive amnesty issue, that he ignored the idea of having a dialogue on ways we could actually change the direction of the country and move forward with regard to jobs and the economy. And the President then spent an inordinate amount of time talking about his goals for executive action and pretty much ignored the next two years."

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That's my dad...

(the councilman, not the mayor)

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Amazing visibility.
Shot from a Mooney at 8000 ASL
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3/10/14
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Downtown Loveland on a cold night
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My day. 
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