Thanks for the feedback, emski, I'm good with skepticism, since this IS a difficult problem, and I'm not finding it any easier than those who have gone before me...
G1ng3rBr34dM4n & Troglodactyl, thanks for your careful reading, and responses...
The latest pictures are here goo .gl /3SJySF (PLEASE FIX THIS LINK AFTER PASTING) and I think we are making good progress on the physical hardware and the software control system (based on ROS - the open source Robot Operating System)
During prototyping, each machine has a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian, an instance of ROS, and MTConnect (an open industrial communications protocol) onboard, this provides a simple, standardized interface to each machine for the other machines to interact with, all the dull communications details you'd expect...;-)
Documentation is still spotty, but all the parts are coming together to get the technical details published in a coherent fashion - and we have plans to release a bunch of reference standard designs for: a laser cutter, a spot welder, a surface grinder, a pressure former (think cheap injection molding) and several types of 3D printers FDM, and SLS being formost, but tissue printing might come within a few years for ethical meat production - the limit here is imagination.
For all of these processes there are still many materials, metrology, motion control and system design concepts that do not have clear solutions, but, as with any open source project, I am confident someone who needs the solution will solve it or find it for their own reasons.
The cryptocurrency portion of the solution is to let the system evolve to be a universal resource not under centralized control, available to all.
This is a dream, but its a pretty lucid one ;-)