Industrial design: roll your own

On a day when Steve Jobs is mesmerizing the faithful in California - hey, I'm a fan - I just wanted to point out that hardware design and fabrication may also have a future in your home. According to New Scientist:

A cheap self-assembly device capable of fabricating 3D objects has beendeveloped by US researchers. They hope the machine could kick start a revolution in home fabrication – or "rapid prototyping" – just as early computer kits sparked an explosion in home computing.

Designing and fabricating devices as intuitive and useful as iPods, and if you believe the promises, the new iPhone, will no doubt be an industrial design feat hard to match. And not everyone is born with or develops the design aesthetic for which Apple is famous. But perhaps someday such fabrication machines will liberate the 3-D imagination like the Web has liberated words and commerce. Hate your cell phone? Make one.