Below is a fantastic short video that helps explain what motivates people to spend countless hours working on an unpaid open source project, such as developing a Reprap
So it seems there are three key points that drive people to work on open source projects.
- Self direction: A person has total control over what direction they takes the project which allows them to choose an area that interests them most.
- Mastery: The seek to master the task at hand which leads to a self rewarding experience.
- Purpose: Having an overall goal or reason for the work at hand that has some overall meaning or goal to make a better world.
For me personally, this rings true on all counts.
My apologies if you have already seen this.