We’ve come a long way since Herbert Hoover promised “a chicken in every pot.” Today we’re on the verge of a factory in every home thanks to the RepRap, an open hardware 3D printer that is designed to replicate itself. You can make a RepRap for yourself, then use it to make one for your neighbor.
You could also just share your RepRap, though open source self-replication is how the RepRap community intends to get this technology into as many hands as possible. The design files and software needed to build and operate the RepRap are free. You can make one for about $500 in parts. And with each new version of the machine, an increasing percentage of the parts can be produced by the RepRap itself.
You can make all kinds of stuff with the RepRap including door handles, wine glasses, children’s shoes, tweezers, and much more. In fact, you can download thousands of free designs from Thingiverse including the cathedral playset below. And you can use the RepRap for prototyping new products to be manufactured elsewhere.