Friday, September 21, 2012

It takes one, to make one

In RepRap, the "Rep" stands for Replicating. Kind of obvious for those acquainted with Dr Bowyer's pioneering work and its derivatives. For all the others: enjoy reading the hundreds if not thousands of pages here if you want to get to know "all there is to know about Reprapping, but were afraid to ask".

In short, it means it takes a 3D printer to make (part of) a 3D printer.

As I set out on a journey to design and build a Delta style 3D printer, and as I don't have a 3D printer right now, I will have to start by building one in order to make my own design come to life (kind of chicken and egg story).

Here are my options: buying a 3D printer; buying a kit (most if not all of them Darwin or Mendel based); Repstrapping a printer or buying all the parts required to build a 3D printer of my liking.

Let's go over my options and see what comes out .

  1. Buying a 3D printer: just too easy and I would not learn anything about 3D printing and the obstacles it takes.
  2. Buying a kit: all kits available - that I am aware of (please send me a message in case I missed something) - are either Darwin or Mendel based. As I intend to go for a delta type printer and not for a carthesian one, I would not learn anything in the process if I would use a carthesian type of 3D printer.
  3. Repstrapping means building any kind of 3D printer - whether it be Carthesien or delta type - requires having parts laying around that one can use. As I am more of a theoretical kind of guy, I don't have that many stuff lying around in my shed to get me even started repstrapping a 3D printer; which brings me to option Nr 4.
  4. Building a 3D printer of my liking. As I plan to design and build a delta type 3D printer (also know as a Rostock in the RepRap community and still in prototype phase), I decided to start by building a standard Rostock as Johann initially designed it and use that Rostock to print the parts I need to build my own type of delta type 3D printer. I just might learn a thing or two, ... or more, in the process; or at least I hope so.
So as we speak, I am completing my BOM (Bill of Material) based on the Johann's partial BOM, some information I found on the net and on some ... guessing.

Check future posts for the rest of my journey and (hopefully a complete Rostock BOM).

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rostock it is,... with some modifications

With the ever growing interest in home 3D printing and the pioneering work of Dr Adrian Bowyer and the numerous (sometimes commercial) derivatives, modifications and add-ons developed by hundreds of fabbers, modders and tinkerers (see thingiverse to get an idea), the Mendel based 3D printers are all based on a very mature design by now. Recent developments in 'multi-extruder' printing and color-mixing are the talk of the town with some promising developments.

All this is reason enough to consider walking a less beaten path. Enter Rostock (delta robot 3D printing). Johann did some fine pioneering work here, but, as he states himself, Rostock is still a prototype for now. This makes it all the more interesting to me to actively participate in the further development of the Rostock type of home 3D printers. So, the choice is made. Let the journey begin!

Steps to take:

  1. Brainstorm & design
  2. Bill Of Materials
  3. Buy parts
  4. Build
  5. Back to 1 till satisfied.
Keep you all posted!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

To Mendel or to Rostock? That's the question...

Since Dr Adrian Bowyer started with the whole 3D printing RepRap story, a lot of derivatives of his first self-replicating 3D printer (Darwin) and its more popular iteration (Mendel) have been developed by an ever growing RepRap community of tinkerers/makers.

However, a new 3D printing project started last year by Johann may add some new blood to the gene pool. Johann developed the Rostock printer.

Where the 'classical' RepRaps are all cartesian 3D printing robots (x, y & z axis), Johann went for the Delta-type 3D printing robot.

All this makes me question which path to follow; hence the title "To Mendel or to Rostock? That's the question". Let me work a bit on this one; I'll be back (soon?).


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

YaRRp - Where does the name come from?

Actually this should have been my first post to make as the name YaRRp may not be so clear to everybody.

YaRRp stands for Yet Another RepRap Project. Why you might ask? As the whole '3D printing at home' phenomenon is based on the RepRap project (Replicating Rapid-prototyper) of Professor Adrian Bowyer of Bath University who came up with the first self-replicating machine (see picture), it is only just to refer to his early work; hence the name YaRRp.

P.S. For those of you who jumped to the RepRap link and started reading: it's an awful lot of material (mechanics, electronics, programming, ...) to digest.
That's why I set out to simplify assembly, easy of calibration and ease of use of 3D printing without losing capability and without giving in on the fun of making physical things on your desk or in your shed.

Adrian Bowyer's and his team's first self-replicating 3D printer

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Just finished reading everything there is to read about 3D Printing... NOT

RepRap Logo
When I stumbled upon an article about the The RepRap Project a couple of weeks ago, I got all excited. The idea of a device capable of (partially) replicating itself fascinated me. So, as always when this happens to me, my reaction was to start reading all I could find about it. Well, I tried reading all I could find about it. As there are some many people - mainly so-called 'techies' - involved in the RepRap project, each and every one with his/her own ideas on 3D printing, there is just too much to read.

One thing I learned though, is that there is quite some room - or should I say 'need' - for improvement here and there in order to make 3D printing accesible for what one could call 'The Masses' (actually I mean you and me and every other non 'techie').

OK, so I found my challenge: design an affordable 'Home 3D printer' - adhering to the RepRap priciples - that is fit for use by 'non-techies', hobbyists, tinkerers, makers, students, artists, etc.

I my next post, I will list the design goals. By the way, some commonly available 3D printers for the end-user market - either as a kit or fully assembled - are Mendel, Mende Prusa, Makerbot, etc.

P.S. Any suggestions for requirements are more than welcome.