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Other Open Source Rapid Prototypers

Posted by Wingman77 
Other Open Source Rapid Prototypers
December 05, 2007 03:07PM
I found another group of people working on a rapid prototyping machine called [email protected] They seem to be making good progress but they differ from the RepRap crowd in that they don't intend for their machine to replicate itself.

Here's the link:

Are you guys aware of any other projects? Perhaps if we all pooled our knowledge and resources into a single project more could be accomplished faster.
Re: Other Open Source Rapid Prototypers
December 05, 2007 03:11PM
I contacted them some time ago and basically got a shrug. They have the same problem that we do, too few systems in operation. The grad students running the project cant turn a profit with university resources. No one else was interested in helping us make parts even with the offer of payment.

Re: Other Open Source Rapid Prototypers
December 05, 2007 04:09PM
I looked at [email protected] at one point. Quite a bit more expensive. Koba started selling kits recently. [store02.prostores.com]

I don't know of any other fabber projects. I think Vik Olliver and Forrest Higgs each had their own projects going at one time and incorporated their ideas into RepRap. I could be wrong on that, though.

It's hard to keep the timeline straight. I first heard about RepRap in early 2005 (I appear to have the dubious honor of being the first to comment on the main blog) and I'm pretty sure Vik was already involved at that point. Forrest showed up after that but I'm pretty sure he'd already been working on similar ideas.

Other than that, I haven't heard of any similar projects. It looks like most like-minded people are joining the ranks of either [email protected] or RepRap.
Re: Other Open Source Rapid Prototypers
December 05, 2007 04:33PM
I stumbled over [email protected] first, before i found reprap.

Then i questioned both groups (Evan at [email protected], Zach here), if someone could help me with a lathe-type of additive fabber which would continuous stack an endless plastic-ribbon to a solid roll, where lasercutted lines would separate the embedded objects ...

Nobody could real offer help, but Zach directed me to the forum, so i'll try some other ideas too ...

The [email protected] are aware of reprap too, but it's mainly the philosophy, temporarily separating the two - as the reprap-project tend to evolve a real selfreplicating system, [email protected] tries to bring a 'perfect' and complete 3D-fabber-kit in the 'non-profit-market'.

It's no problem to combine both systems, as for example adopt the [email protected] on a reprap or vice-versa for FDM-extruding with the [email protected] ...

Re: Other Open Source Rapid Prototypers
December 05, 2007 05:36PM
also, there is the cost approach:

[email protected] are based out of MIT, where $2,500 for a printer is cheap.

whereas we're aiming for <$500 for a complete machine, which i still consider to be expensive. i wont be happy with the price until you can get a reliable printer for <$250. but thats just me =)

the other obvious difference is that we're aiming for self replication in addition to 3D printing. perhaps we're being too ambitious, but this is a hobby for many people (myself included) so its okay to dream big. =)

thirdly, the [email protected] is using proprietary electronics, as well as a proprietary compiler for their firmware. i've been over nearly every part of the reprap system and we're open source from the ground up. the only proprietary thing we use is Eagle for PCB design, which is free for our uses... no license needed even. also, their host software only runs on windows :-/ obviously most of [email protected] is open though.

finally, the other major difference is that they use a syringe based system whereas we use a continuous filament system. like viktor said, it would be trivial to attach one of our heads to their system (we actually sent them one for free months ago... still waiting on them to reciprocate.)
Re: Other Open Source Rapid Prototypers
December 05, 2007 05:58PM
Alas, it would be a lovely thing for these two to combine!!!

I quite like their idea of having everything enclosed, I may incorporate that into my own RepStrap.
Re: Other Open Source Rapid Prototypers
December 05, 2007 06:41PM
I think Zach describes it best... more radical on open source and cheaper. Although I think RepRap is a little more behind, but using time wisely.
Re: Other Open Source Rapid Prototypers
December 05, 2007 09:17PM
[email protected] Cornell University

Fab lab is MIT but they do have a [email protected]


I like the idea of 250.00 because it will be more used and in 3rd world countries.

We are not that far behind just not in the media as much and I am personally trying to get in the media more here.. We also do not have a kit yet to buy which I think even though it is expensive it is helping the spread of the machine..
Re: Other Open Source Rapid Prototypers
December 06, 2007 02:43AM
The candyfab project at [www.candyfab.org] is an offshoot of evil mad scientist labs and is doing good work and generating some activity in their forums.

Also Make Magazines instructables feature has periodically had articles on CNC platforms (search under milling or robot) in fact one of these is the basis for the MacWire base as I recall.

Also the good folks at CNCZone while devoted to subtractive tech have tons of general info, field reviews, lessons learned and build diaries which offer scads of good data on things like motion control, servos and steppers, etc.

Happy Hunting,
Brian Dolge
Re: Other Open Source Rapid Prototypers
December 06, 2007 03:20AM
I also landed on [email protected] first then followed a thread and got here, the [email protected] definitely is designed very much with asthetics in mind and I feel the RepRap is more about function (which brings its own beauty).

Kits are now available for Moulded RP parts for the RepRapStrap with complete kits in the next few days and much cheaper than the Koba [email protected] I'm hoping this will move the RepRap project up a level in terms of accessibility.

Re: Other Open Source Rapid Prototypers
December 06, 2007 03:52AM
... as with my actual plans (and the tripods) i'm more on a repstrap-path, it's irrelevant, which of the two concepts i realize.

With the CNC-mill-repstrap and an already working driver from the vendor the [email protected] is more easy to convert, but the reprap-community is much more active, so it was my interest, that leads me here.

I posted two or three times in the [email protected] (as VDX, my common nick), but more then 100 times here ...

So i think, the [email protected] is a good and mostly complete (and a bit expensiver) system, whereas the reprap is much more chaotic and in the phase of rebirthing - so the potential is much bigger and the future more interesting, what seems to attract some other people too winking smiley

Re: Other Open Source Rapid Prototypers
December 06, 2007 03:09PM
I don't like [email protected] Sucky project. Too expensive. Very little growth opportunity for lone experimenters.

RepRap rocks hard! Much more open. Way more active. Cheaper. And I can contribute to the design, experimentation, and project direction!

Zach may be the #1 RepRap Fanboy but I'm #2!!!!

Re: Other Open Source Rapid Prototypers
December 06, 2007 05:51PM
demented: there's plenty of room in this rocket ship. welcome aboard!
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