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This is a list of common terms and abbreviations used in the RepRap community.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, a thermoplastic used as a 3D printer material. Often ABS is used as a short form, actually referring to filament made of ABS: Do you use ABS in your Mendel?
The build plate of the 3D printer on which parts are actually made.
Toothed gear belt. Usually fiber-reinforced to prevent stretching. Used to transfer movement from the motors to other parts of a machine.
Bill of materials. A list of parts. There are BOMs for the whole Mendel and for individual components.
The moving middle assembly on the x-axis of Mendel which holds the extruder. Often referred to as: x-carriage.
A catalyst is a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction without being consumed itself in the reaction. A substance that alters (usually increases) the rate at which a reaction occurs.
Copolymers are additives that are included in the polymer blends with the intention to add certain properties to the main polymer.
All polymers have principal properties that are desired, but bring others that are not. A good example is Styrene, which is clear, has great accuracy when molded into a shape but is very brittle and ages bad under sunlight. In certain commercial varnishes Butadyene can be added to give it some flexibility and UV protectors to make it more durable. The difference between copolymers and fillers is that the first ones participate in the chemical chain reaction and are bonded to the main monomer.
Ethylene Vinyl Acetate. Several early RepRap research experiments used off-the-shelf EVA glue sticks in hot-glue guns. Those glue sticks are mostly EVA which melts around 85°C.
The act of placing the build material on the build platform, normally by heating thermoplastic to a liquid state and pushing it through a small nozzle.
Fillers are solid materials that are added to polymers (or cements) and that do not interact chemically with it. They remain inert but do add special desired mechanical features to the compound. These can range from density alteration (make the compound heavier or lighter) additional strength (fibers...), resistance to abrasion and improved thermal properties (sands...) or simply thinning the compound to reduce material cost (talc).
A group of parts which handles feeding and extruding of the build material. Consists of two assemblies: a cold end to pull and feed the thermoplastic from the spool, and a hot end that melts and extrudes the thermoplastic.
Fused Deposition Modeling. The term fused deposition modeling and its abbreviation to FDM are trademarked by Stratasys Inc. The equivalent term fused filament fabrication (FFF), was coined by the members of the RepRap project to provide a phrase that would be legally unconstrained in its use.
Fused Filament Fabrication. Where a filament of one material (plastic, wax, metal, etc.) is deposited on top of or alongside the same (or similar) material making a joint (by heat or adhesion).
- Plastic material made into (often 3 mm or 1.75mm) string to be used as raw material in 3D printers.
- Extruded plastic (often < 1 mm).
Also known as the squashed frog, this is a part that the printing plate connects to. The frog connects directly to the linear bearings on the Y axis. The name comes from the original Sells Mendel part that looked like a "squashed frog".
The information sent over the wire from a PC to most computer numerical control (CNC) machines -- including most RepRaps -- is in G-code. While in principle a human could directly type G-code commands to a RepRap, most people prefer to use one of the many CAM Toolchains that reads a STL file and sends lines of G-code over the wire to the machine.
Some researchers are developing alternatives to G-code.
The process by which the model hardens to its final form.
A build surface that is warmed in order to keep the base of an extruded part from cooling (and shrinking) too quickly. Such shrinking leads to warping internal stresses in RP parts. The most common result is corners of parts lifting off the build surface. Heated beds usually yield higher quality finished builds.
The parts of the extruder that get hot enough to melt plastic, or potentially other materials. Hot end parts use materials that can stand up to ~240 °C heat (for current thermoplastic extrusion). The hot end usually refers to the tip of the extruder as it should be hottest there.
Heat-resistant polyimide adhesive tape. Used to secure the heating element to the extruder barrel. It can also be used on the surface of a heated bed.
A molecule that, under the correct conditions, can link together with others to form larger molecules called polymers. A monomer must be capable of forming two or more bonds to other monomers.
Usually meant to refer to a specific size of stepper motor.
- NEMA 14 - A smaller stepper motor used in Huxley and others.
- NEMA 17 - A larger, more powerful stepper motor used in Mendel and many others.
- NEMA 23 - An even larger, very powerful stepper motor.
An alloy of nickel and chromium. Nichrome wire is used as a heating element in many extruder barrels and some heated bed designs. Simpler and less messy enamel resistors are often used for the same purpose.
Oligomers are big molecules composed of monomer bricks, joined together in more or less branched fashion, so as to provide polymerization seeds for the final polymer. A free analogy would be that monomers are to oligomers what a water molecule is to a snowflake. In commercial resins, oligomers are mixed with their monomer components so as to achieve a polymer of desired properties, due to their ability to spatially organize the polymerization process.
(Adjective) Adjustable in all dimensions. A parametric model is one that can be resized and or distorted to suit the user's needs. In CAD software, If a widget has a 1 cm hole in it, you can select that hole and make it a 5 mm hole with a few clicks, as opposed to a triangular mesh (see #STL), which is more difficult to adjust.
The native format of several useful software packages can store parametric models.
Polyether Ether Ketone. A high temperature thermoplastic used as a thermal barrier in the extruder.
Polylactic Acid. A biodegradable thermoplastic polymer used as a 3D printer material.
Often PLA is used as a short form, actually referring to filament made of PLA: I use PLA in my Mendel.
Polyvinyl Alcohol, A watersoluble filament used as 3D printing material. Often PVA is used as support material.
Polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon). A slippery thermoplastic often used as a barrel in the extruder to minimize friction with the filament.
A technique used to prevent warping. Parts are built on top of a 'raft' of disposable material instead of directly on the build surface. The raft is larger than the part and so has more adhesion. Rarely used with heated build surfaces.
RepRap Arduino Mega Pololu Shield - one of the more popular flavors of the "Official" electronics.
A RepRap machine is a rapid prototyping machine that can manufacture a significant fraction of its own parts. The RepRap project is a quest to make a desktop-sized RepRap machine.
- To reprap
- v. To make something in a RepRap machine.
- adj. Capable of being made in a RepRap machine.
See also: RepRapWiki:About
A 3D printing machine which can be used to make a RepRap, but is not a RepRap itself, as it wasn't made by something like itself. These are becoming less common as Mendel printed plastic parts become more available, but are still very popular. They're often sold in kit form or custom-made from scrounged parts.
See also: What Tooling Do You Have
Rapid prototyping. Creating an object in a matter of hours on a "3D printer" as opposed to sending out a job to a modeling shop which may take days or weeks.
Short for Stereo Lithographic, which is a recommended file format used to describe 3D objects. A design program (e.g. AoI) can produce an STL file which can then be fed toa 3D printer or 3D rendering graphics package.
Possible alternatives to STL are discussed at a community specification for an improvement to STL files.
A firm flat sheet of material 4-6 mm thick used as a printing surface. A variety of materials have been used, but the most important property is that it must be flat.
Viscosity is a property of fluids determining it's resistance to flow. The higher the viscosity, the more difficult a material will be to extrude or dispense (more energy/pressure will be needed). Also, the higher the viscosity, the less the deposited thread of material will sag or change shape until hardening.
For a detailed definition see Viscosity on Wikipedia.
A non-replicated part.
In RepRap jargon, a "vitamin" is anything that you need to build a RepRap which cannot yet be printed on a RepRap. For example, bolts.
An alternative to the standard extruder