Printing objects from computers holds the promise of shifting manufacturing to the corner store--or your garage. Today's 3d printers and laser cutters are great, but costly. To speed the implementation of this form of technology, I think a 2d mechanical cutter (similar in function to a laser cutter--but no engraving) could be the interim step that could quickly show up in garages and high schools.
I propose to design and build such a machine, fully documented and open source. I will produce a few kits and a few assembled units--making them available at the 2013 San Mateo Maker Faire.
Estimate for a single kit:
Cutting Tool $50.
Power Supply $25.
I'm speculating that the assembled kit would cost $400.
20 kits ($4,000.)
20 assembled ($8000)
Transportation to Maker Faire with units ($3000)
Laser Cutter and development tools ($10,000)