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Is RepRap dying?

Posted by Demented Chihuahua 
Is RepRap dying?
August 23, 2007 12:22PM

I'm on here most days reading the forums and such. There doesn't seem to be many posts in the general forum. The Main Blog hasn't been updated for awhile. The only person who has posted recently in the Builder Blog is Forest. I have to ask this question; Is RepRap dying a slow death?

I don't want it too. I would like to know if there is anything that others of us could do to help to get things going again. I'm waiting on electronic parts for my own RepRap. I was just getting worried at the lack of activity from this normally active site.

Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 23, 2007 01:20PM
I have been busy with summer and waiting for my home to sell in this American market so i can move into a new home that the sellers are waiting to sell to us. so i have not had a workshop. Joost and myself have been working on making drawings of the repstrap parts that we have made from MDF, and Hardwood. they could use somebody else trying to make the parts to be sure the drawings are correct if any body is interested. So I do not think we are dead just trying to enjoy the end of summer.

Bruce W
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 23, 2007 01:26PM

I dont think that is the case at all. I've followed this project for a while, and it just has its phases. Some weeks will be active, and some will be not so active. Sometimes it may seem like we're very quiet, when infact there is alot of work going on in the background. Its hard to make blog entries every day, especially when you're working on stuff. Here's a quick rundown of whats going on *right now*

* we're creating v1.3 of the powercomms/universal electronics boards w/ better debug and ICSP headers for in-board programming.
* Adrian is updating the firmware to add a buffer for smoother lines
* extruder kits are 1-2 *days* away.
* part lister database has been updated with a new version that has many new features. [parts.reprap.org]

the project is very much alive and kicking. NASA estimated the complexity of a project like this as that of a Pentium 4. with that in mind, its AMAZING how far we've come as an open-source, volunteer project in 2 years. also, keep in mind that there are 4 distinct parts of the project, and that each is a large project in its own right. electronics, firmware, host software, and mechanical design. not to mention that electronics, and mechanics each have sub-modules.

i would love it if more people got involved. i've shipped off boards to quite a few people, but have only heard back from a few. i suspect in a few months we'll start to see more people popping up with blogs and such about their individual efforts with their machines.

i also encourage more people to get involved with this project. its run by volunteers, and there is only so much time each of us can contribute to the project. the host software still needs lots of loving. it looked for a while like people were going to start working with it alot, but that sort of dropped off. everything is up on subversion, and its very easy to get at the code and start hacking away. the host software doesnt even require a real machine to run. you can hack on its completely virtually.

personally, i think that reprap, and 3D printing in general is the wave of the future. we've bitten off a big chunk, but i think that in the coming months, we'll have some really awesome things to show the world.
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 23, 2007 01:36PM
Well, it's vacations on the northern hemisphere too you know.
I would love to be going on with my experimental planning but the base products just haven't arrived yet. And the shop I get my electronic parts is closed for vacations until September.
You need a serious chunk of patience when you do unusual stuff like this that requires uncommon equipment.
Plus, some of us also like to take a vacation sometime winking smiley
But don't worry, I and I guess many others are sticking around and going nowhere. We are in this project for real!

Join us and help us take over over the world smiling smiley
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 23, 2007 02:35PM
If you think this is dead take a look at the Fab@Home forum. Somebody posted questions about the firmware weeks ago, and nobody but me replied to him.

Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 23, 2007 02:45PM
RepRap right now is dependent on a (to me at least) startlingly small group of core developers to push the project forward at this stage. I'm very impressed with how far it's come and how fast. That being said, I think it is unfortunate that there aren't more people involved. This isn't due to a lack of interest from the general public or any animosity from the developers, but simply the relatively large start-up cost of such a project. At this stage the main areas of development still left are the firmware, the mechanics (support extruder, cheaper motors, etc.) and the extrusion parameters. But you can't get very far working on any of that without a RepRap to test your changes on! And as we all know, getting your hands on a RepRap in these early days is much more easily said than done!

Progress is being made. Not as fast as it would be if there were more RepRappers out there, or if there were even a few full-time developers working on the project. But I think this machine has inspired enough people that however slow it may appear, progress will continue until a working machine has been developed and beyond.

Hmm, take over the world... that better wait for version 3, when RepRaps get lasers! grinning smiley
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 23, 2007 02:49PM
Reprap is having the end of Summer blues. So is Fab@home and my little Tommelise website.

Reprap is also getting to a difficult point that I got to back in February-March. The project just about has several Darwins built and now has to face the hard work of getting them to print. I can tell you from personal experience that that is a very ugly and depressing situation to find yourself in.

As well, Reprap is having to debug it's documentation and design now that more than a couple of people are trying to build it. It's pretty easy, relatively, for one or two multitalented people to build something like a RepRap and begin to get it rolling. It is quite a different game altogether to simplify the design and especially the documentation to where a second tier of builders can replicate the experience. That's where RepRap is at the moment. I haven't had to do that one yet with Tommelise and let me tell you, I'm not looking forward to the experience. eye popping smiley
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 23, 2007 04:00PM
I decided to check the Google analytics to see if there was anything in the numbers... we're still holding strong. Maybe a slight dip in the last week, but I think Forrest is right that its the end of the summer and people are out enjoying it before winter hits.

I expect to see a big surge in the winter, as more people are inside and therefore more likely to work on a project like this. Personally, I know I'm going to spend many a late night at the lab once it cools down. My goal is to be printing parts for the RRRF by the time the ice melts in the spring.

I am very passionate about this technology, as are many others. Don't worry, we're *very* committed to its success. Paradigm shifts can sometimes be hard. =)
Anonymous User
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 23, 2007 04:13PM
Yipes! The thought hurts me... I'm just gearing up to start digging in. I've been skulking around the forums and blog for a couple of months now and am currently building out my workshop so I can get started.

This is one of the most exciting new developments I've encountered in a long time. I find myself going through my daily life now noticing objects and envisioning how to extrude them! It's going to be amazing I think.
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 24, 2007 03:20AM
Hey all,

Didn't mean to stirp up an ant's nest with my question! Just concern from someone who desperatly wants one himself. That said, thank you for all the posts in such a short time. That was friggin' awsome!

I see what is being said and all of it makes sense. Sometimes youthful enthusiasm--I'm a student (sheepish blush)--and forget that other people have lives year round. :-) It's great to hear that so many are dedicated to this project.

Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 24, 2007 10:07AM
no worries. it was a well intended question, and you didnt stir anything bad up. if anything, this was a good prod to keep us focused and working on the project. also, its good for us to honestly talk about the status of the project and where we are at. maybe we'll even get some people who are interested in helping out on the project out of this.

also, new progress... check out the blog! =)
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 24, 2007 01:02PM
Kyle Corbitt Wrote:
> @Fernando
> Hmm, take over the world... that better wait for
> version 3, when RepRaps get lasers! grinning smiley

Frikkin' lazers YEAH!! grinning smiley
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 24, 2007 05:15PM
seriously. any time i ever get frustrated, or bored, or whatever... all i have to do is think to my self. "some day, this project will have FRICKING laser beams!!!"
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 24, 2007 06:30PM
I just found out (about 30 minutes ago) in a briefing meeting that a new product under preliminary development at my company will have a laser powerful enough to cause burns!

Dude, laser!
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 24, 2007 09:13PM
So what? The laser diode in a DVD burner is powerful enough to cause burns. eye rolling smiley


Why wait? grinning smiley
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 24, 2007 11:26PM
wouldn't it be ironic if Fab@home made a laser cutting head and beat us to the punch? their cartesian design is laser-cut based...

personally, i think if that happened it would be a huge win for the entire community =) i love irony!
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 25, 2007 07:26AM
I've been busy with work... busy with getting married... and busy trying not to go broke in the process... so I'm a little on hold at the moment, but not given up...

I'm stuck at the extruder, but I'm hoping the fabricated kit will resolve that... I was happy with my (lego) design last I worked with it... i just hope my electronics aren't outdated with all the changes that have been going on!

I'm also in the process of moving my computers to the basement... (so the family room is more of a family room... and my real computer is next to the workbench I was developing on...) so I'm hopeful to eliminate the software issues I was having before... and make it easier to make casual improvements as time permits...

Once I can get/afford an extruder head... I hope to make some serious progress with my design... I've been a little lazy with 'cad'ing out the components for when it transitions from repstrap to reprap... but the biggest part of that is the lack of 'instant gratification'... but the extruder head should resolve that!
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 25, 2007 09:30AM
I thought the Fab@Home 'bot was waterjet cut.
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 25, 2007 09:33AM
from what I gather, the Fab@home design is a 2D profile, which makes it suitable for waterjet, laser cutting, and whatever other technology can cut 2d profiles.
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 25, 2007 11:23AM
I found why I thought so.

[www.fabathome.org] says, clearly, "laser cut".

But I found
first, where a sidebar mentions one made from waterjet cut polycarbonate.
Re: Is RepRap dying?
August 27, 2007 12:09PM
Yes, any slowdown you're seeing is due to the dog days of August.

Once it's possible to buy a complete set of parts, you'll see interest explode. Right now, you can buy all the electronics, motors, rods, and even extruder head (yay!), but the specialized plastic parts are the problem.
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