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The true purpose of repraps

Posted by Ben.folkes 
The true purpose of repraps
January 17, 2015 10:19PM
I've just recently engulfed myself In the Reprap world which I'm thoroughly enjoying and I've just finished my first prusa i2. After reading a lot of posts on here and other websites, I've realised that there are tons of modifications that can be made. My question is, do the majority of users use their repraps to produce parts related to improvements or for other uses?
I look forward to hearing what people say.
Re: The true purpose of repraps
January 17, 2015 10:38PM
Initially, I used my printer to make a set of backup parts. Then I got into modifying it to suit my taste and purpose. I am finally to the point of making fun stuff and getting deeper into designing parts to further modify my printer and, like many of you, find myself looking at building my next printer from scratch...

The current build-it-yourself kits are just enough to get us started, and provides us the basic tools to grow.

I am so glad to have built my first printer rather than just dropped a ton of money on a ready-to-print model like a Makerbot...


Find me online at:

Check out my FolgerTech Prusa i3 (plexi) at MindRealm.net
Re: The true purpose of repraps
January 18, 2015 08:05AM
Well, if you explore Thingiverse you will have your awnser. There's a lot of "improvements" parts (with a small percentage of usable parts), and a lot of trinkets too. "Improvement" parts means most of 3D printers does not satisfied their owner and needs to be upgraded. Hum. But if you explore deeper, you'll find some realy interesting stuff. People comes with their passions and hobbies with their own design. If you're interested on gardening, filming, home improvement, whatever, you will find very usefull stuff. For example, a peristaltic pump cost a lot of money on the market. You can download and print a fully functionnal one for few meters of filaments, and save hundreds of bocks. So to the question "what's the true purpose of repraps?", the awnser depends of who you are. If your're interested by nothing, then you'll print trinklets. Reprap is about replicable low cost small personal factories, which allows anybody to make anything out of plastic (or other materials, remember Reprap is not exlusively FDM technology).

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/18/2015 08:25AM by Zavashier.

Collective intelligence emerges when a group of people work together effectively. Prusa i3 Folger (A lot of the parts are wrong, boring !)
Re: The true purpose of repraps
January 19, 2015 12:23AM
Well, I kind of think that if the point of building the reprap is to make parts for the reprap, then it's kind of a waste.

That said, if you buy a cheap kit, you'll end up doing exactly that for a while. As I type, my i3 is making a second set of feet. The ones I got were crappy, so I modified the original design to something that suits me better, make a set, then put them on the printer. Now I'm making set #2 in case something happens to these. Of course a spare set of everything else, too, though I'm going to redesign the X axis parts because mine is hacked together with zipties.

So far, I've been mainly playing with things, but I've made some small things which are kind of handy to have around. A curtain rod hangar to replace one that broke, and I can't find a replacement to buy in the same style. It has the print lines on it, but you can't see that from a distance at all. I replaced the bezel on a small 7" LCD that I plan to use in the car with one that will fit in my dashboard. I made a couple of gauge pods for my car as well, and will also be making some speaker mounts to allow me to use nicer speakers in a nicer location. Car parts are mock-ups for now, though if I re-print them in ABS, I could probably use them that way. I don't really trust PLA since the car can get awfully hot in the sun, though it ought to survive, I'd feel better with more leeway, knowing that it's unlikely to warp anything. If I choose not to use ABS, I will use the PLA parts as a plug to mold them in fibreglass or carbon fibre (Making the molds very smooth, of course.)

I have many other small parts that I want to make around the car audio/video/security systems, holders for things, separators for wire looms, and the like. With a 3D printer, I can make button and switch plates that use the factory locations, as well as house displays for the aftermarket engine management systems, gauge pods and the like. So basically, it's a hobby that will help with other hobbies.

I also make a lot of DIY audio equipment, I've made several home audio amplifiers, signal processors, equalisers, and the like. Currently most of them are mounted on stand-offs and screwed down to pieces of wood. I'd like to make some nice cases for these pieces. Though many are too large to 3D print on the reprap, I could make accents, corner pieces, and knob panels on the printer, then use flat stock for the main components. I could also 3D print holders that the circuit boards can be screwed down onto. I also have made a few DIY video projectors, and there are a few things that I have hacked together that could use a purpose-designed part instead.

Other projects planned are modded computer cases, speaker box parts, maybe a kitchen knife holder...
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