I am an Industrial Designer, situated in Hamburg and happy to contribute to the project. As I guess that there are enough engineers out there to fill any CAD/production technology voids, I like to focus on the usability and aesthetics part of reprap. I also do Graphic- and Webdesign and can help with user interfaces.
For us designers, this project has many different, highly interesting faces:
1.: it is like building the perfect tool for any prototyping/mockup job. Great! Also, having a matter printer for everyone is so space age and will certainly change our society an many ways.
But 2.: How do I earn my money if the designs i create and want to sell are now on the net for free, for everybody to print? Not so cool? Will everybody be his own designer now? Will product design scale down into something like a small trade, an artisanry where people go to to have a pretty file made?
I know that Adrian Bowyer already mentioned this entire patent issue in one of his speeches, more in a way that printing stuff for yourself is legal and therefor no problem to do at home. But he (and others) know and wrote about the fact that in a long term, this can change our society an many ways. Industry and economy will certainly react in some way.
You see, there is plenty of room for discussions, not only for designers.
But apart from that and back to reprap itself, I wonder if it is possible to start a discussion with other designers & engineers about how design can bring reprap to the masses in concerns of usability and visual integrity. Can we get some kind of workgroup started here?