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One theme is coming out repeatedly in the comments - people *really* like the idea of having their name on a cog. So, is it technically feasible for the mass-production manufacturers to scribe each piece with a "serial number" ... which just happens to be the name of a subscriber?
To achieve the pledge needs 50000 subscribers. Will the final machine require >50k parts? If it does, then the problem is pretty much solved, apart from trivial technical details like getting a LaserWriter (not one of the Apple printers <G>) and working out where to put the names on each piece design.
The project would probably need serial-numbering of many parts for QC, so why not combine the ideas. ("John Smith" is probably already used to being the 45th of that name to sign up for anything.)
I'm just having a silly idea - someone signs up their child as a sponsor ... and a decade later goes to the Science Museum (or where ever) to show them "their cog". I can hear the violins from here!
Or reverse the scenario - it'd make a great birthday present for Dad!Aidan Karley, 7 years ago.