Open source 3D Printer

The RepRap.  RepRap stands for Replicating Rapid-prototyper, meaning that a reprap machine can make the parts to build another reprap machine.  Which is kinda cool. 

If you want to build your own click here.

Stuff made by a reprap.

I heard about this when the inventor was interviewed on The Future and You podcast.


7 Responses

  1. As somebody who works in Precision manufacturing – all I can say is that Reprap thing is a joke. Even the best STL(stereolithography) machines produce rough(worst than sand castings) finishs, and the few that can do metal sintering are in the 7 figure range.

    We don’t need 3D “printers”. We need cheap CNC Mills and lathes – something Seig is siezeing the market by the horns.

  2. It’s a home built prototype. A hobbyist machine. Comparing it to an industrial precision manufacturing system is like comparing an Altair to an IBM 370 back in the late 70s.

    I find the Reprap interesting because it provides the potential to produce small plastic crap in small “as needed” lots in the basement rather than by the tens of thousands in Chinese factories staffed by what would be “slave labor” in first world countries. There are already plans in the works to shred items it has produced and reuse that material. Those cheap plastic clogs that are so popular these days? Make ’em yourself and instead of tossing the kids old pair in the landfill when they outgrow ’em, use them to make a new pair.

    Since this thing is open source, stop by the Reprap site and challenge ’em to adapt it to a CNC mill/lathe.
    Hell, point out to the CNC M/L folks and ask them way than can’t do better.

  3. Mark I’m intimately familiar with STL machines. My first exposure to them was in College, where they just bought one during my senior year.

    They don’t produce “usable” parts. They produce mockups. The plastics tend to be very fragile. Hence the other name their known as: “Rapid Prototyper”

    There’s ALOT of interest in Hobby grade CNC – between Mach 3(cheap control software) affordable servo/stepper motors and drives(Gecko and others), turning a Sieg Minimill(can be had as cheap as $500) into a 3 or 4 axis cnc mill. This kind of thing gets discussed alot over at the Home Shop Machinist forum(in fact, one of the members their was responsible for the final finetuning of the new Sieg Mill design before hitting the market). You might want to go over there and see what they have to say.

  4. Cool. Post some links and I may put up a post about them.

    There are a few small items that the reprap is producing that are quite usable, like the coat hook or cheap plastic shows (which is what Crocs ™ are). It really is in the Altair stage. I’m more interested in the potential it represents.

  5. I’ll see what I can do. Right now I’m sick as dog – picked up something nasty when I went to vote.

  6. […] Last time I went on about 3D Printers was back in October 2008.  Time for an update. […]

  7. […] Last time I went on about 3D Printers was back in October 2008.  Time for an update. […]

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