Printing a RepRap

repstrap

The RepRap project has been working on bringing 3D printing to the masses by creating a extrusion printer that can also make the majority of its own parts. For the most part, these print ABS or HDPE plastics which are strong and recyclable. In order to create these replicating printers, similar machines called RepStraps are built out of either laser-cut parts or machined elements. They are functionally equivalent to RepRap printers, but are not made of printed parts. [nophead] documented his RepStrap, HydraRaptor, that is based off a milling machine. He had already printed a set of RepRap parts, and he documented printing a second set. The machine worked for about 100 hours over the course of 2 weeks, printing about 1.5 kg of parts. He made a few adjustments, such as replacing ABS bearings with HDPE to reduce friction. The parts are for Factor e Farm so they can get started with 3D printing.

Related: RepRap pinch wheel extruder

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.