The RepRap is a 3D printer. That means it can construct three-dimensional objects. The machines have been available for a while now, but typically run around the $30,000 mark; well beyond typical house-hold means.

In contrast the RepRap is $500, and the plans are free, licensed under the GNU GPL. What's even cooler is that once you have your first RepRap, you can use it to create others (well 60% of the new machine). RepRap begat RepRap...

The RepRap creates objects with layers of plastic, each layer building on top of the previous layer. The list of things currently being built by the RepRap isn't going to put Exxon out of business anytime soon, but the list is only going to get longer.

Did I mention that one RepRap can build 60% of another RepRap? Version 1 (aka Darwin) lets you create all the plastic components, but you have to buy the electronics. Version 2 (aka Mendel) will be able to make much of its own electric circuitry.

I'm thinking my wife would just love a new pair of shoes...