Have you ever wanted to prototype an invention? Or customize an existing design? Or perhaps collaborate remotely with a friend on an object you were building together? The Bayou Mendel allows you to accomplish all of these things affordably and within the framework of a vibrant open-source community of developers, artists and other creatives.
The Bayou Mendel is a 3D printer that builds physical objects by printing them (literally), layer by layer, with a heated plastic filament. With a computer and some open-source CAD software, it will allow you to print custom designs practically out of the box.
Our project is to develop a modified Mendel RepRap, and specifically to incorporate two incremental changes to the design of the standard Mendel:
1. Consolidate all of the electronics onto a single PCB; and
2. Add a sensor that (a) detects when build material is running low and (b) sends a signal to pause printing, return to home, and then resume when the user replenishes the build material.
So where do you, our supporters, come in? We need money to buy parts for experimentation and for building these devices. Consolidating the electronics onto a single board will involve ordering custom printed circuit boards. And incorporating a pause function, for when the Mendel runs out of plastic filament, will involve some sleepless nights. We would like to purchase some tacos, preferably from a food truck, when we are working late.
We're incredibly excited to share this wonderful, emerging and refreshingly democratic technology with you. Like never before, people are able to distribute and use sophisticated means of production (and the required documentation!) affordably and at a scale that fits the needs of the individual maker or small creative business.
Where to Learn More.
We would like to get to work right away, but we need your help to take the plunge. For those of y'all who decide to build or purchase your own Mendel RepRap (even if it isn't from us!), here are a few online resources to get your gears turning:
RepRap.org (the open-source project that started it all)
thingiverse.com (online resource with free designs)
The Bayou Mendel Team
[Legal Stuff: We are hobbyists and creatives like you. We learn by doing, and sometimes by making mistakes. The Bayou Mendel will not be a typical commercial, consumer-ready device and will probably take a bit of learning, tinkering and maintenance on the user's end. As a result, we expressly disclaim all warranties on the Bayou Mendel, including the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. If you buy or build a Bayou Mendel, you do so AS-IS and WITH ALL FAULTS.]