Printable Difference Engine
And, really, what steampunk or computer historian wouldn’t love a machine like this? 1 The difference engine is a mechanical calculator theorized by J. H. Müller in 1786 and realized by Charles Babbage in 1855. Babbage himself designed analytical engines and mechanical computers.
As awesome as Babbage’s difference engines are… my hat is off to Thingiverse citizen qwertyzzz18. Qwertyzzz18 is uploading, piece by piece, a DIY 3D printable difference engine to Thingiverse. Babbage dealt with theory – and qwertyzzz18 is making them accessible. Even if you travel out to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, no one is going to let you take it apart, turn the pieces over, or change out parts.2 Now anyone with a Thing-O-Matic can print out the parts and build their very own.3
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