Cube Spawn puts machines inside of (rather large) "Lego blocks." By doing this it will define a set of standards to ensure interoperability of these machines with other machines. Web standards such as HTML make the Internet work together by creating standards that everyone understands. Cube Spawn could do the same for open source manufacturing projects. Instead of desperately trying to combine lots of different unique machines with different sizes, plugs and electronics together Cube Spawn will streamline the process. Cube Spawn will make it much easier to get 3D printers but also CNC mills, painting bots or anything you can imagine to combine to become your own open source factory. It is an open source flexible manufacturing system and it is things such as Cube Spawn that will be major enablers of a personal manufacturing future.
Watch the video here to see James Jones explain his project. At first glance something such as Cube Spawn could seem a lot less exciting than a new 3D printer or some awesome thing someone built using 3D printing. It is however a significant development. Standards make life easier for everyone. Just ask a web developer about IE 5. They ensure a common language and allow greater access to technology and more innovation. If you are serious about open source hardware and manufacturing, you can now put your money where your mouth is. The Cube Spawn project is looking for backers (you can pledge as little as $1) and you can learn more about that and check the project out on the Cube Spawn site here. Skint? Well then just spread the word!