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Building a RepRap in ZA

Posted by Mike Davis 
Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 02, 2011 06:20PM
HI - i have been toying with this reprap idea for a while ,but have been lazy in pushing on.
now i (well:my brither in law actually) have the opportunity to use a proper engineering workshop with lathes + milling machines etc.(everything a reprap replaces on smaller scale) so heres my opportunity to cut some gears + bits + finally get this project going

could i cut all the parts for a reppap from (aluminium/sumthing) or will weight become an issue?
steppermotors surely have a limited strength.
is there maybe a lighter metal i could use ?
or maybe a strong machinable plastik?

i am open to suggestions please?

the electronics seems to be a bit tricky ,and i am not very hands-on with component placement + pcb design
from reading this forum ,its obvious that a couple of people have already contacted pcb-makers + got boards made
and (hopefully) populated aswell. and are using these boards.

is it possible to share that info with me?
like the company that did the boards for u + how much it cost (ballpark figures are ok)
the link for the ardunio board further up is a great start , but there are other boards :
stepper motor driver ,usb interface board etc etc

thanx in advance
tableview - cape town

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2011 06:31PM by QWERTY.
Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 02, 2011 11:29PM
i am open to suggestions please?
http://reprap.org/wiki/What_Tooling_Do_You_Have grinning smiley
(hint: don't make a mendel out of wood or aluminum. Make something like a 1X2 bot.)

like the company that did the boards for u + how much it cost (ballpark figures are ok)
We host a number of entrepreneurs here:

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2011 11:33PM by SebastienBailard.

-Sebastien, RepRap.org library gnome.

Remember, you're all RepRap developers (once you've joined the super-secret developer mailing list), and the wiki, RepRap.org, [reprap.org] is for everyone and everything! grinning smiley
Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 03, 2011 07:11PM
sweet thanx

guess machined plastic for the bitsNbobsNgears then...

i guess ill just have to phone around for the boards

Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 14, 2011 06:24AM
Hey guys i live in Cape Town and i'm Interested in building my own RepRap,

Any suggestions on where to get the stepper motor's in SA? From what i understand its best to go with something like the NEMA 17 but i'm struggling to find a well priced supplier for them here. MakerBot sell for a very good price but seem out of stock and a little far away. And secondly has anyone found a good source for the ABS or other filaments locally?

Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 17, 2011 08:20AM
Hi there... I just finished the mechanical construction for my Mendel! fun and easy up to this point... Still need to buy the electronics/motors/belts/extruder ...
To me it seems as though the best place is Mendel-parts.com .. couldn't really find a better/cheaper supplier for motors or anything else here in SA.. Is it really cheaper to source everything and make the boards here, as opposed to buying it ready made for $200 ? Anyone In Cape town (or SA) who can help with a steady filament supply? or has a working mendel to show off or can help in another way, let me know...

Gideon Spreeth
Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
July 06, 2011 02:47AM
hi there I am busy completing my Mendel at the moment I have finished the mechanical parts and am busy wiring up the steppers ect to the boards I will actually be in bellville this weekend visiting my grandparents if you want to get together this trip will be delaying my completion unfortunately otherwise I would probably have finished it this weekend
To whom this may concern or be willing to help.

I am really keen to build a 3d printer and am super excited that I have finally discovered RepRap.

Just like I am sure everyone who embarks on this type of project has many questions, I too have many to ask and am looking for someone who has built one of these things to be kind enough to answer some of my questions.

At this stage I need to ask questions like:

Should I be attempting top build a Prusa Mendel or an Original Mendel?
Are all the part available in SA? This would be parts like the printed plastic parts and the electronics?
Mechanically, I am quite comfortable with what I have seen as far as assembly and hardware procurement is concerned. Is the electronic part of this build something that a person with rudimentary electronic knowledge can accomplish and if not, is there help available through a forum or a club in Cape Town or SA?

Rob Davidowitz
Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
August 24, 2011 06:52AM
We are in Windhoek...Namibia and we've been reading up on the reprap concept.
where do we start? can we buy an assembled mendel from someone? or should we be brave and build one?!
Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
September 18, 2011 02:29AM
Hey guys. So glad I found this, although it seems a bit quiet. 

My name is Bernhard. I run a company called CAD House. We import 3d Printer kits. Currently we bring in RapMan and Botmill kits. Since starting to import these kits less than 6 months ago, we've probably placed more than 150 machines in South Africa. Whats amazing is that this time last year there were probably only about this many RP machines in South Africa. We've probably stepped on many toes while doing this because people that would have ordinarily bought some high end machines (we do these also) are settling for RapMans and BFB's instead. We're looking into more options. Maybe some feedback here concerning which machines you guys would like to see coming to South Africa, with added local support. Please specify pros and cons. We're also looking at alternate material suppliers. I agree paying R750/kg for what is merely plastic extruded into 3mm filament is alot, but at the moment we have no choice. Im looking at the Chinese to solve this issue. We'll be able to import between 200 - 500kgs at a time - the demand is this high. Could probably find a solution for 1/10th what we sell for now. 

Our web adress www.3d-printer.co.za

Also created a local community forum because no one else would

Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
September 19, 2011 04:13PM

Sean from Welkom.
Welkom being such a lovely place for a young architect I have now seriously decided that I need a hobby to keep me sane.
And so here I am.
Seeing the response rate on the SA part of the reprap im not expecting too many replies here. But I really wanna try and build a Mendel, and am gonna start on the hunt for all the info I need to get one built.
The lazer cut versions seem the easiest to build as I can get parts lazer cut.
But unfortunately I have no idea on where to start to get local/cheap stepper motors and the other electronics. Im sure I can find a dying printer somewhere thou.

Wish me the best, and Ill try post my progress here as I go.
Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
October 24, 2011 08:15AM

I found your site whilst looking for suppl;iers of printer belts.

Maybe you or someone can help me.

I am looking for a printer belt approx.40 cm round and 5mm wide with ridges.

this is for an imported Korean printer for printing on golf balls etc.

Unfortunately the printer arrived with a broken belt and it will take about two weeks for new belts to arrive.

Any help especially names of suppliers in Durban
Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
November 09, 2011 09:05AM
Hey guys.

I recently found out about the reprap 3D printers, and it’s awesome!!! I reeeaaaaaalllllyyy want one!
I want to build my own prusa, but the only places I can find on the web that sell parts are overseas, and their super expensive!
Is there any place in SA that supplies the process board, printed parts and 3mm ABS filament? I am assuming that everyone uses 3mm filament.

Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
November 19, 2011 03:36PM

I live in Pietermaritzburg and i've been interested in 3D printing for awhile now but keep getting let down by the availability of things in SA. I mainly want one because i think it's awesome and can make lots of cool things. Not a great reason i know. I've been looking around and most models are close to R10K, which is not an option for me. I'd rather assemble it myself. Now my problems are: I have zero experience in this field, i know next to nothing about electronics, and the only design i've done is in google sketchup. Essentially i'd like to build a basic RepRap and go from there.
My question is this, what was the total cost of your printer and what is the learning curve? Where did you find the electronics? What is the maintenance cost? And would it be possible for me to come see the machine in action?

I really appreciate any help you can give me.

Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
December 06, 2011 08:47AM
Hi Jrwdive

I am a product designer/cabinetmaker/3d modeller living in Durban and would dearly love to se a mendel in action as i would also like to build one.

Would it be at all possible to drop by and see yours some time. I would be happy to help you in accelerating the 3d modelling skills or can offer you the modelling service at cut rate prices. I have 8+ years experience with sketchup, inventor.

Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
January 11, 2012 10:29AM
Hi there Guys

We are now selling the Makerbot In South Africa.


Just some info smiling smiley


Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
January 11, 2012 10:39AM
Hi there Guys

We are now selling the Makerbot In South Africa.


Just some info smiling smiley


Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
February 01, 2012 11:56PM
Hey guys,

I see so many people wanting a RepRap or wanting to build one - but whee are the results?
Has anyone her completed a project yet, if so, please share.

If anyone needs help, please give us a call. We can assist in printing parts or sourcing hardware. Anyone is welcome to drop by our shop and check out the machines and get some on ideas.

Our details on our web site.

Or email me
Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
April 09, 2012 11:55AM
Hi There,

I live in cape town and need desporately 3 stepper motors for my home cnc.
I can pay for delivery and motors, but pls be nice.


Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 07, 2012 03:00AM
Hi guys

Seems there are not much activity in the local RepRap Scene. In any case, I'm designing a larger printer size to accommodate a 300x300x600 print area.

It will be loosely based on the MendelMax design, but modified for the planned linear rails I intend on using.

So far it seems I will have to get the electronics from overseas, as I have no clue as to where to get the PCB made up, and the components/programming done. I see Marius hasnt posted in a long time, so not sure if he was successful in making his own PCB.

Anyway, if anyone wants to get involved in this project, let me know.

Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 07, 2012 04:13AM
Hi Roelof,

Although building a printer with a larger print area should be relativly easy, be carefull of the material limitations. I see you are keeping the footprint down to 300 x 300mm and assuming a height of 600mm. THat should not be a problem - in fact, that is brilliant - we have not had any issues with really tall parts. The maximum X, Y dimension would be limited to about 200 x 200 printing with PLA. ABS without a heated build chamber and heated bed you won't be succesfull with anything more than 150 x 150mm

Keeps us postec on the progress.

Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 08, 2012 02:48AM
Thanks Bernhard

I was actually looking at a 300x600 mm bed, with a 300 mm height. I havent seen any issues about going that large though, so how would the material not be able to be printed on such a large area? Is there excessive shrinking over a large area?

A heated bed will be incorporated in the design as well. But now that you mention there might be issues with the above, i might have to incorporated a heater to raise the temp in the enclosure as well.

Should the area be an issue, i guess it can easily be changed to a 300x300mm area and a 600mm height. But if thats the case, I would redesign the printer to use a gantry system that moves the printhead in the x and y directions, and the print area stay stationary. The gantry would then be moved on the z axis as required. The idea is to move the printed item as little as possible, especially if its quite tall. And you would also have less weight to move around if its only the printhead being moved, which should make the printer a lot more stable.

What do you think?
Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 08, 2012 03:38AM
Hi Roelof,

The shrinkage of the material is definatly a problem. Even the profesional FDM machines from Dimension/Stratasys have this problem with warpage, and only have a build area of 200 x 200mm - and these machines basically have an oven heated to 90 degrees to stop warpage.

So keeping the footprint smaller and the height taller would be the way to go for sure.

We are resellers for RepRap based machines in South Africa. If you would like to come view some machines you're welcome, we are in Centurion.

Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 16, 2012 08:52AM
Hi guys, I'm in Pretoria and also looking to build a reprap. I have found a local supplier of 3mm filament. They do most of what we need @ about R150 +vat for a 2kg roll in.
here is the url [www.plastiweld.co.za]

I have also found Micro Robotics who sell the Arduino and stepper motor controllers.

So lets see if we can do this thing!
Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 16, 2012 10:02AM
Hey Patmar,

That price is awfully good. Have you tried their materials yet? I've enquired with Plastweld before and the best they could do was about R800/Kg and the material was not within tolerance.

If you're based in Pretoria, you should come past our shop in Centurion. We have RapMan Darwin and Prusa on the floor.

Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 17, 2012 09:13AM

If you're successfull, please post here again!
Would love to see what you got and learn a lesson or two
Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 18, 2012 04:19AM
Hi all, I have found a product called "interflex 1001"
which is in bead form. moldable at 70°C. I did a test with a normal
high speed drill bit in a alum. block (Archemedies screw) with a 2mm hole as a nozel.
with a cordless drill runing in reverse heated the block with boiling water, the
beads were feed to the 2mm point and extruded. So wartch this space!
I'll post the details as soon as I have the pricing and packaging.
Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 20, 2012 04:30AM
Has anyone tried to use the "Weed eater" cord as a filament?
Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 20, 2012 03:12PM
Tried it. Its nylon and blocks up the extruder. Becomes very sticky.
Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 24, 2012 11:12AM
I can get a RepRapPro Mendel for just over R6000 from reprappro.com imported. (a kit with ALL the parts)

Is there any way to get it cheaper in SA?
Re: Building a RepRap in ZA
May 25, 2012 12:34AM
Hi Carel,

You wont get it for cheaper locally. Just remember you will pay another 20 - 30% import duties and another 14% VAT. You also wont have the benefit of local support. We have a similar design on our showroom floor, and all I can say is that you cannot compare it to the RapMan kits which are far superior in all aspects.

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