You may remember that in February, James Howison and I presented a paper at the O'Reilly conference on the idea of Napster fabbing, where we showed that exchange of 3-D digital designs is already happening on the RP-ML. I've now done a new analysis of RP-ML traffic over the past year. Here is what I found.
In the past 12 months, there have been 33 requests for digital design files and one offer of files. The offer was of two heart shapes for Valentine's last February.
The requests were for the following items:
-- 10 human: Body, head (2), ankle (2), hip, rib cage, teeth, saluting hand, swinging golfer
-- 6 animals: Fish (2), horse, cat, bird, shark tooth
-- 7 vehicles: Plane (3), engine (2) , Indy car, submarine
-- 3 sports: Golf ball, golf clubs, soccer ball
-- 2 buildings: US Capitol, Roman style
-- 8 others: Globe, robot, phone, topology, coin, gods, wind-tunnel models, 3-D clip art
-- Total: 36 (Three of the 33 requests were for two items each.)
The time distribution of the requests was:
-- 2000, 4th quarter: 3
-- 2001, 1st quarter: 4
-- 2001, 2nd quarter: 10
-- 2001, 3rd quarter: 16
-- Total: 33
These data are too few to be statistically significant, but they do seem to indicate an increasing frequency of exchange of designs in the digital fabber community.
Of the 33 requests, five got public online responses. Two were suggestions of people or Web sites that might have what the person was looking for. The other three actually provided the requested file, either by posting on an FTP or Web site or by private e-mail with a jpg image of the item sent to the RP-ML. It would be interesting to do further research into whether people got more assistance on their requests through private e-mails offline.
We've updated our "Napster Fabbing" Web page with this new data. If you aren't familiar with the idea of Napster fabbing, you can find out more about it there, at http://www.ennex.com/publish/200102-Napster.
President, Ennex Corporation
Los Angeles, USA, (310) 397-1314
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://rapid.lpt.fi/rp-ml/
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