About this project
What is the Reprap? The Reprap is a self-replicating machine that prints by extruding a thin stream of melted plastic. The coolest part is that the software and directions to make these machines is freely available to anyone that wants to make one! The Reprap can print just about anything you dream up, within reason. Here's a video from the founder of the Reprap Project, if you want to see what it's all about. I little long, but well worth the watch. (www.youtube.com/watch... )
How does the Reprap work? The Reprap is a CNC 3D Printer. However, instead of carving things out of plastic, it extrudes a thin stream of plastic. A software program on any computer tells a microprocessor on the Reprap where to move in 3 dimensional space, and when to lay down plastic. The thin stream of melted plastic is printed down in a layer. Once that layer is completed, the machine moves up a fraction of a millimeter and begins printing on top of the previous layer. Because the machine is computer controlled, it can print out highly intricate patterns and shapes. It just takes as long as the user takes to design a part in the software. Then you just wait for the machine to print it out. CNC 3D printers are already used in research and development to create quick prototypes (ie- for a toy company). The only catch is that they cost well over $100,000. Here is an excellent video from the Reprap founders showing how the Reprap Mendal works. Definitly worth the watch! (www.youtube.com/watch...)
What is the point of the Reprap Project? The Reprap Project (www.reprap.org) wants 3D printing to be in every home someday. This will change the way goods are made. Instead of running to the store every time you need a little trinket, you could make it at home for a fraction of the cost. For most homes, this is still a dream but with the help of the developer community, the printer is constantly undergoing an evolution. We're learning how to print faster more precisely. There's even experiments that are testing using printing materials other than plastic. Hopefully one day the machine will be able to print 100% of all its parts.
Why am I doing this? I first got inspiration from one of my university classes that glossed over 3D printing. I started researching and ran across the Reprap project. Looking around on Youtube led me to John Ecker's excellent videos of his build process. Then I saw that he funded his entire project on kick starter. HUGE thanks to John for the idea of how to get this project started on a college budget!
Anyone that has a Reprap can make the parts for another. Right now only a few dozen people around the world are participating in the project the way it was intended. I seek to help the Reprap project by building my Reprap quickly and begin printing more parts for others to build their own machine.
The goal of this project is to flood the market with affordable, high quality Reprap parts forcing other sellers to compete in the free market and keep the Reprap Project affordable for everyone.
The Funds Will be used to build a RepRap 3D printer and make the technology available to everyone in the community. As well as allowing inventors, artists and students to have a 3D printer available to help them in fulfilling their project needs.
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