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What are you going to do with your Reprap?

Posted by reece.arnott 
What are you going to do with your Reprap?
July 05, 2008 01:42AM
I'm giving a talk in a month or so on the Reprap project as part of the joint Computer and Information Science seminars at the University of Otago (New Zealand) and I'm stuck on a slide that begins with the title 'Why?'

The real reason I got involved in the Reprap project was because I thought it was cool. Thats basically it. So I thought I'd give the rest of you the chance to have your say:

Why did you get involved in the Reprap project?
What things are you planning on making with your Reprap?
What sorts of people are you planning on dragging into the project and why?

And for bonus marks, how much time and money have you spent/will spend to get to the point of having a working Reprap (if that is your goal)?

As for my answers to the above, I am just wanting to get to the point that I have a reprap to give away so I can give it to one of my friends (I have a choice of engineers, retired electrician/computer tech, or the artist of the family). I have no real need to make anything with it, I just want to make it easier to use for those that do.

My penultimate vision is to see the reprap become the desktop nanofactory imagined here:[www.youtube.com] in 10-20 years time.

By the time I've finished it will have taken me 1-1 1/2 years to build and test my reprap but that probably only works out to 80 hours or so actual work on the Darwin itself with a significant chunk of additional time eaten up in reading and writing on the forums and another large amount of time producing the LiveCD/DVDs (a couple of hours a night for a month at a time) with a final lot of slack time due to buying things piecemeal and having to wait for parts to be shipped.

All up I will have spent a little over $US1000 for parts, shipping, additional/spare parts, and tools (I started with screwdriver and drill).
Re: What are you going to do with your Reprap?
July 05, 2008 03:32AM
I've spent a few hundred so far. I don't think I've broken $1000 yet, but I'm not too sure. I plan on using it for almost everything listed on the site, art, PCB, final production pieces, prototypes for molded metal parts, etc.

I would consider myself a hobby engineer/inventor and do a lot of electronics. I don't want to keep making breadboards and then shipping my design off to china, pay a lot of money, wait a month, just to get a small PCB, and I don't want to buy a laser printer and do the etching solution either. That's where reprap comes in.

I also like robots and RC and plan on making some of the vehicles from video games into RC cars (like the warthog from halo). The case and circuit boards could be made on the reprap.

I got started with the reprap group long after I decided to build my own RP machine, then I did some googling and found this group that had already started, so I figured I'd save myself a lot of time and just tag on.

I wonder what the "nanofactory machine" will do to the worlds economy. Once that thing works properly, anyone could make counterfit anything better than the original. Money, rolex, computers, cameras, etc. This might be a bad thing, or it might open up the world to a market where the design is worth more than the product. That would be NICE. Design a cel-phone ( $500 iphone), sell the design to a bunch of people for a moderate fee, they can print it themselves and everyone saves money. Recycle the old "stuff" into new "stuff" and the raw materials wouldn't have to end up in a landfil like they often do with old things. This would also help keep everyone on the same level of compatibility without poor people like me being left behind because of the economics of keeping up with the market (I'm talking about more than just cel-phones, this idea works for almost anything).

It would be nice though.
Re: What are you going to do with your Reprap?
July 05, 2008 06:03AM
Well, in sorting out my bedroom to make a corner of it into a workshop (small house, living room full of electronics already) I found I needed :

New feet for my workmate - the rubber ones fell apart & the bare metal scratches the wood floor.

New feet for my wardrobe - my house is 250 years old and nothing is flat or upright. So the wardrobe is perched on bits of variable thickness plywood and could thus do with some smart white (and probably fully adjustable) feet.

Also, in order to make a fortune and support the purchase of more toys, I have an idea for a product that needs some plastic rp to get development tests done. (Is this too commercial for the reprap ethos?)

Part of my bedroom reconfig involves fitting new skirting boards. Im using MDF ones, but I always dreamed of making custom modular skirting - with motion sensors and LED lighting with built in power & comms. Eliminates trailing leads and lights your way when u get up to answer the phone/call of nature in the dark.

Can you tell I am an inventor who spends long hours in bed thinking ? All I need now is a woman with similar aims winking smiley
Re: What are you going to do with your Reprap?
July 05, 2008 10:38AM
Originally, I wanted to prototype some medium-sized, special purpose robots. When I began pricing out what one of them was going to cost I discovered that a huge amount of money was going to be absorbed in either setting up to machine or having machined any number of special purpose parts. I confirmed my estimates with a friend of mine who has done battlebots over the years.

The problem that I had was that I seriously doubted my ability to get parts designed right first time out and the cost of having one made pretty much made that a must. That's when I ran across Reprap. While plastic parts are less durable than metal, you can, if fabrication is cheap enough, afford to make mistakes.

The promise of Reprap caused me to make a 30 month detour from what I originally planned to do. It's not been wasted time even if Reprap ultimately fails in its objective, which appears unlikely at this point, the reason being is that I also needed to bring myself up-to-date on electronics design and firmware programming. Reprap has, for me, been an ongoing post-graduate seminar on those topics. smileys with beer
Re: What are you going to do with your Reprap?
July 05, 2008 11:05AM
Let's see...
Custom irrigation implements, abrasion resistant cultivation tools, assorted brackets.

Also I'd like to print a julia fractal from the magnetic class of equations with a 4 head (or 4 material head) setup. Conductive, semi, insulator and paramagnetic (embed ed blend of manganese and cobalt particles) in a self-similar scale free arrangement. I suppose I could get by without the semiconductive plastic if I had to. But the insulative, conductive and the paramagnetic materials are a must.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/05/2008 11:06AM by The Guy.

The Guy
Re: What are you going to do with your Reprap?
July 05, 2008 01:44PM
I want to print robotic parts for experimentation into Dynamic Bipedal Locomotion through a combination Passive Dynamic and Powered walking. Senior project maybe.

I've dragged in my profs, my fellow mechanical engineering students, a micro-electronics friend from Intel, my girlfriend--though she was slightly unwilling!--and a college drop-out.

I've spent around $900 on my machine, slightly over $1,000 on the OIT RepStrap--not my money--and am re-doing my original machine's frame for about $80.

I've spent the last year doing this/these project/s.

I have made random wine-glasses, mini mugs and a small heart for my girlfriend so she wouldn't hate the RepRap so much. Not so good to have that much tension in the house. ;-)

Re: What are you going to do with your Reprap?
July 06, 2008 04:51AM
Bringing in other people is what I think will make RepRap better than a commercial player would be able to do. A friend of my works on inkjet 3D printing. I showed him Nophead's results and he was very much impressed. Since this is very young progress, I think it's extra exciting!


Erik de Bruijn
[Ultimaker.com] - [blog.erikdebruijn.nl]
Re: What are you going to do with your Reprap?
July 06, 2008 03:37PM
... replacements and toys for my children, some parts and 3D-objects/fittings for my electronics and experimenting with paste-dispensing for prototyping in microtech-sensors and housings ...

Re: What are you going to do with your Reprap?
July 06, 2008 06:24PM
I Look at Darwin as the first step, where as the 2nd or maybe 3rd step will be able to produce products which are: large, precise, very high detailed (think gears and bearings) and strong. and do so fast.

when that happens there will alot of stuff you would suddenly realize you don't need to buy anymore..

just randomly picking from my desktop: broken keyboard keys, stapler, hole puncher, watch strap, mop head, book holder (to keep nooks straight on shelf), CD spindle, coat hangers smiling smiley PC case, Laptop case (!!), cell phone panel, mini camera tripod.....

you get the idea.

Re: What are you going to do with your Reprap?
July 06, 2008 10:20PM
Found a link for this site form Slashdot and well have been hooked ever since. What I want to make with it i am not sure...I think I am still in the awed stage were just the fact that it can print plastic is still the major attention holder.

Nowdays I am working on build my own Darwin for technical elective credit for school and am in the process of getting access to the my colleges machining labs so I can really get to building everything. My professor has said that he might be able when fall comes around to get some of my purchased reimbursed by the school...but if not I don't mind.
I think I am only just slightly under the $1000 mark but I am not finished yet so i still have time to break that. I think the major think keeping my cost down is the fact that I got about 9 lbs of UHMWPE donated to me by PlastiFab in California. (Yes this is plug for them, but it is the least I can do.) So with that I am going to machine as best as I can the parts for the Darwin and then later replace them with RP ones as time permits.
Anonymous User
Re: What are you going to do with your Reprap?
July 06, 2008 10:24PM
This subject reminds me of an ad that aired on American TV when I was a kid. The ad was for a toy gumball machine that dispensed gum when a penny was inserted into a slot. In the ad, children discuss what they will do with the pennies when the coin bin is full. One kid says that he is going to buy more gumballs; refills were available at the toy store.

And for some people, that might be enough; the machine as an means to itself.

Me? If I had a RepRap, I would probably want to use it to make custom-built toys. Maybe complex toys like the old Ideal Toys Mr. Machine.
Re: What are you going to do with your Reprap?
July 07, 2008 01:18PM
Im going to take over the world with robots, well maybe more annoy than take over.

Im pretty new to reprap, Im only going to spend money on the electronics and motors,
I like it becouse it puts quite astounding amount of power at your control, art wise it looks great BUT i think where its going to shine for me is the little jobs, jobs that using other methods are not worth the time and effort. feet for things ,hinges ,brackets etc. But i am REALLY looking forward to making my own custom parts for things like robots etc, before it would of cost tooo much to have everything custom made for me , but soon i'll be able to do something without having to spend too much money.

I have many reasons to help, I basicly happen to think that the worlds going downhill, and reprap is a good way of getting younger people to not only make things but to learn how things work. Which i think is always good.
Re: What are you going to do with your Reprap?
July 07, 2008 04:53PM
I want to get recycling working at a local level. Having seen piles of plastic garbage all over the world, primarily because there's no market value for used plastics in most places, I think it would be great to seed a few third world countries with a reprap that could build useful stuff (including more repraps) out of recycled plastic. Might make a dent in the mountain of trash we're drowning in.

Interestingly, without even trying that hard, my reprap is mostly made out of recycled printer and computer parts.

Of course, once I get it going, I'm interested in making robots, motors, cell phones, you name it!

Re: What are you going to do with your Reprap?
July 08, 2008 03:31AM
Helping to piss off the production industri is actually reward enough :-E

I'm not really the creative mechanical constructor/designer type, but some of my friends are. They often talk about how wonderful things they could accomplish if only..

Right now these people are building things from scrap in a one-of-a-kind fashion, without giving a thought to the question of sourcing.

With the (future) reprap you could not only build anything but also when someone has done something clever, help spread the idea to others who might need it.

So I really don't know what will happen, just like when the internet was founded :-) or the home computer some decade earlier.
Re: What are you going to do with your Reprap?
July 08, 2008 05:14AM
I'm thinking of two different purposes... I work for a small consultancy firm, and it seems that every project has the need for small bits of equipment or mounting jigs or other sorts of prototypes. Sure, I can bodge something together (I currently have a
Re: What are you going to do with your Reprap?
July 09, 2008 01:04PM
I have a product modification idea for many Jet Skis and I hope that I can start the ball rolling by making and maybe selling a few prototypes from my RepRap. Besides, it's just fun to build things.
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