Dr. Joshua Pearce is an Associate Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and also the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan Tech University (MIT).
He is an advocate for 3D printing and open source, build-it-yourself 3D printers. Pearce and his team developed a low-cost, metal 3D printer. The plans, software and firmware are all open source and available here. The materials for the printer cost under $1,500.
Previously, Pearce and his team had worked on other projects including a study that proved making products at home with a 3D printer is cheaper for the average American and a study showing that 3D printing at home is greener than buying commercial goods.
Pearce has also written a book titled Open-Source Lab. The book discusses how to use 3D printing to build your own lab equipment at lower costs than buying equipment commercially.
Pearce is quoted as saying, “I really don’t know if we are mature enough to handle it, but I think that with open-source approach, we are within reach of a Star Trek-like, post-scarcity society, in which ‘replicators’ can create a vast array of objects on demand, resulting in wealth for everyone at very little cost. Pretty soon, we’ll be able to make almost anything.”