Lasercut RepRap kit

The RepRap is a self-copying 3D printer. The project has published plans for creating a lasercut acrylic version of the device. They call it a RepStrap since once assembled it could produce printed plastic versions of the machine components, bootstrapping true RepRaps. The plans are available for Ponoko an on-demand product service, and it would cost ~$380 if you used their service. The plans are free, so you could get them manufactured by other means. [vik] is still putting together the assembly instructions. He hopes to have an all inclusive electronics kit at some point too. This is another great step towards putting desktop manufacturing within reach of everyone.

19 thoughts on “Lasercut RepRap kit

  1. There are many functional 3D prototyper concepts, almost all better than this thing, yet this one gets all the press. Why? the “self-replicating” claim. It isn’t self-replicating, not even close. In fact, I have yet to see a RepRap that can duplicate ANY part usable to construct another RepRap at all. It certainly doesn’t turn out the bearings, bolts, linear rails, motion control circuits, stepping motors, or the other 95% of the needed hardware even >IF< it could turn out usable plastic structural members.

  2. stunmonkey gets it in one.

    if it starts making the other bits, it will be interesting.

    plastic structural members (of unknown durability?) yeah… it might compose most of the mass of the device, but most of the device isn’t all of the device. (or any important parts even)

  3. The reprap actually can turn out its own bearings, and the idea of self replicating is not that it can completely create every part of itself. I mean, no living being does that. The idea instead is that easily available parts are left to be purchased or found, while the harder to do things (like make square frames) is left up to the machine.

  4. i too wonder what others are there that are soo much better? sure if you have the cash you can pay 10k+ for a commercial product but hey this is open source…….

  5. The thing stunmonkey missed, and the reason this one gets the press, is that while plenty of people have built their own design (or McGuire’s design, which reprap has mildly redesigned as the McWire repstrap) very few of them are real, organized, projects. Reprap and Fab@home are the only really organized 3d printer projects, and of the two, reprap is cheaper and more accessible for DIY because of things like this repstrap design.

    BTW, there’s a lot of work being done by the dev team and others on light duty milling. It’s not officially supported, but PCBs can be milled without too much difficulty, so if you wanted you could use one of these to produce the circuits for replication. Since the pcbs are usually in stock through rrrf.org, it’s not necessarily to your benefit as a builder, but it’s doable. Stepper motors are more difficult, but there is someone working on milling and wrapping his own.

  6. If you want 3D milling capability (subtractive modeling), just build or buy a DIY CNC router. They are cheaper, more reliable, easier to build, and more supported. Ironic thing is that they are also a >FAR< better base for an actual RP (additive modeling) system than the RepRap could ever be.
    RepRap is a mediocre RP machine with no real milling capacity and no scanning capacity. Even a cheap DIY CNC router makes a better RP machine than the RepRap while also doing great at milling and 3D scanning.

  7. Stunmonkey, to repeat another’s sentiment… please provide a link. PLEASE. I’ve never seen a good choice for a decent, cheap DIY CNC, I’m currently in the midst of building my own for PCB milling, light duty plastic milling, and additive fabbing and there is nothing I would rather have than a cheap kit that can do additive better than a reprap.

    Also scanning is just a matter of having a scanning toolhead… If a reprapper wanted to use one (and there are some working on this) they could, so I’m not sure how those have any better scanning capability except maybe by resolution if they’re using anti-backlash leadnuts.

  8. Any advance or pursuit in the realm of personal manufacturing, be it additive or subtractive – does us all a big favor – RepRap, CNC, Fab@Home, they all have their merits. Besides – its like arguing over which is more important, the Apple or the Commadore – they were both important in the beginning of personal computing – as are these projects to personal manufacturing.

  9. Guys, many of you are talking about self-replicating ability of RepRap, but, assuming it can replicate itslef, in order to build spare parts or a second set you still need the first one to put together. My question, or rather few:
    1. Where can I get full set of parts and components to build my first RepRap?
    2. How easy (or hard) to put them all together. I have decent mechanical skills and familiar with electronics and soldering… I am designer, but was working as pro modelmaker for years.
    3. There is a Cupcake MakerBOT kit out there also for around $1000. Smaller build base, but can anybody tell me how quality of builds from Cupcake, RepRap and, say, $15K industrial printer can be compared?

  10. My issue is the cost of the electronics.

    It’s nice to see simple electronics being created for it but the cost is outrageous.

    Knowing something of the electronics involved in 3-axis controller this idea basically feeds those selling the electronics for far more than FMV.

    Unlike most, I do have IRDA SMT equipment and have fabricated and populated some very complex boards and have even built a few of the reprap boards for other people and can tell you the costs involved is far less than can be purchased.

    If you really want to make this a readily available and easy to get into hobby then you might want to look at a source for the electronics which charges a fair value.

  11. Hi, I am interested in building this machine as it is by far the most stable and accurate one I have seen. I have access to a laser cutter and will be cutting out my parts soon. I am quite good at the electronics side and have used arduino’s before.

    Where can I find the arduino code for this project? also where can I find the client program?

    Any help guys is much appreciated

    Cheers

  12. I may consider buying a Cupcake kit since it is quite good working unit for the money. Of course, its quality and precision is by far below industrial models of extrusion 3D printers, but I may not be able to cash out $20K for a while.

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