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Has anyone heard of the RepRap self-replicating 3D printer? I wonder if its for real. They claim to have control software and instructions for making a self-replicating 3D printer, all protected by the GPL. It sounds pretty fantastic.


Last week I spent a day doing conservation work. Like most big organisations my employer (a big Aussie bank) allows employees to take a few days during the year to work with volunteer organisations. Yay for them!

I love the bush and would be a registered “protector of small, furry animals” if I could only find the appropriate organisation to register with. So when the opportunity with Conservation Volunteers Australia arose to help “reintroduce native mammals, bandicoots, and dunnarts” how could I resist?

Of course I needed to prepare myself and the first question was, what the heck is a dunnart? Finding out it was a native rat-like marsupial with a fat tail was in no way a deterrent.

The day itself was wonderful. The weather started out a bit windy but by the time I arrived at the bushland reserve it was a glorious sunny day. Unfortunately the introduction of the furry creatures isn’t to happen for a few years yet. First we have to do weeding … and lots of it. It was great to be working in the sun instead of stuck in front of a computer in an office and somehow getting my arms cut up with blackberry bushes was even more enjoyable than writing software architecture documentation.

Take a look at the volunteer opportunities offered by CVA. There’s heaps of great activities around Australia. And not just in the cities, but camping conservation work in the bush too. At the moment they have an activity called “Koala Catching – Mt Eccles National Park”. I’d like to do that. I wonder how fast they throw them?