The RepRap Breeder project has in mind to branch off a Replicating Rapid Prototyper with only one focus, reproduction. Where the main branch of RepRap is focused on increasing the percentage of the device that is printable, this branch is only focusing on making it easier to reproduce. All design choices lead back to making the device faster to replicate, easier to set up, & made from parts that are more universally available.
In fact, not only design choices are important for speeding up reproduction time. The whole environment from the point of view of the builder (some human being starting to build a RepRap) must also be considered. Ergonomy is an important factor, as is documentation. These have a huge impact on the time from "I want that thing" to "I have successfully built it". Important to that person is not universal availability of parts, but availability of parts from his/her perspective. No need to be able to buy screws or motors anywhere, but somewhere, with ressources available to that person, is enough. If there were only one shop selling kits with ALL parts, a GOOD and COMPLETE documentation, with difficult to fabricate parts PREFABRICATED and some raw material to print with included, and an efficient INCENTIVE to incite the person to SPREAD the IDEA, then this could speed up the process enormously. The delays are in:
- Time to "recruit" some new person to the idea.
- Time to convince that this person actually CAN build such a thing. Too complicated or confusing a documentation/environment will discourage and slow down the whole process.
- And has the resources to do this. Deciding to spend money takes some form of decision or commitment to gather the money, and a clear picture of how much is needed.
- And a need to do this (as opposed to: I can do this at my friend's house).
- And decide to actually DO it and start it.
- Now a path to getting the parts and concrete build information must be identified. People need time to learn about the possibilities and decide. Again, confusion (Wiki/Forum disorganisation) adds to that time. Thus a clear documentation speeds up the process.
- If you understand that ordering the complete BOM (which must be perceived as reliable) is what needs to be done, then this speeds up waiting for the parts to arrive. On the other hand, if you decide to do it stepwise because there is too much info to digest in one preparation step, then this slows down the process.
- If you get a friend to print the parts for you, your decision to build is faster to make, because it is cheap. Thus if you find commercial part-sellers only, this can be a hindrance to speedy reproduction. But the Loaner Program is an accelerator.
- A clear path (diagram, descriptions, flow chart, etc.) to resolve common errors will speed up the process.
- Automatic calibration helps.
- Too many settings in the software slow down or discourage.
- ... and so on. Continue this list with your additions! It's good to be aware of more details to work on collectively.
So, a lot can be done by cleaning and clarifying the idea and the docs. As far as I (Peer) am concerned, the items I put there outweigh by very, very far the construction time of the printing and putting parts together in itself.
I (Spacexula) have decided to start the project based off the current Mini-Mendel. I plan to make the following changes to the current Mini Mendel design.
-Z Axis & all smooth rod will be 8mm / 5/16 inch (easier to use with 608 bearings)
-Will only use 4mm/ ANSI #8 screws (m3 will still be necessary for the motors)
-All bearings will be moved to 608 bearings (606 will be needed for the extruder)
-All motors will be NEMA 17 (A DC gear motor will be used for the extruder to make it simpler)
-Belt will stay the same unless someone can point out to a more universal belt.
I will be using this page as a log to keep myself honest until I am ready to release this design as a finished printer.
Files on the RepRap Wiki
- doubling time
- Making "hollow parts" improves replication time -- as in the Hollow Mini-Mendel by MarcusWolschon. There seem to be 2 approaches -- which one gives the fastest overall replication time?
- reduce infill slightly in non-strength-critical areas, producing parts that are slightly weaker than the original Mendel parts but still plenty strong enough to build a RepRap.
- reduce infill to almost zero, producing flimsy parts that are just barely strong enough to hold themselves up, but with water-tight bottom and sides. Then fill each part with epoxy, producing solid parts that may be stronger than the original Mendel parts. Hopefully the "extra" time required to fill the parts with epoxy and waiting for the epoxy to cure is less than the printing time saved by reducing infill.
- "fast production" on the RepRap blog
- RepRapBreeding: a similar attempt to design a fast-replicating RepRap from NicholasCLewis
- User:Virtlink/DIYRap: more ideas on how to speed up the time from "I wish I had a 3D printer" to "I have built a 3D printer".
- RepRap User Groups (Category:RUG) can help with the "I'm not sure I *can* build such a thing" and several other items listed above.