Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile


Who wants a locally made RepRap Kit?

Posted by Zerker 
Who wants a locally made RepRap Kit?
November 05, 2014 10:49PM
Hi all,
after looking at the number of printers being built and the number of problems people are having with sourcing parts or getting parts only to find they are junk. it strikes me that there may just be a market here.

Now I'm not in the position currently to provide a service like this, however I'd still like to explore the idea if nothing else, perhaps someone will pick it up and help grow the community.

Lets hear some thoughts on the larger picture of the Idea:

What model would you like to see first as a Budget, entry level model (keeping in mind that you can now go to warehouse stationary and pick up a Davinci for an un-reasonable price (if it was a better design it would be ok))
advertising for a company I don't work for

I'd still think that some kind of Mendel or Prusa would be a winner, with a Delta or one of them fancy morgan/Wallace designs being a fore runner for a mid price range kit

Thoughts on this?
Re: Who wants a locally made RepRap Kit?
November 06, 2014 01:09AM
To be honest,Zerker,I think others have been there,done that.I have seen several reprap type kits on trade me at various times,but never seen one sell.
I think in most peoples eyes,$700-800 for a fairly experimental machine may be too much.
I've not seen the Davinci at SW,but the local store has a Replicater mk2 for $2500.You'd have to be really keen to throw that much money at what is still a toy.(I'll get me coateye popping smiley)
I have now spent close to that $700 just trying to get my printer to work properly,mainly because I liked the idea of a completely open source machine I could assemble myself.
I think you'd have more luck just selling parts,especially parts that a beginner like me would have trouble with,such as hot ends,etc.
But again,there are already several suppliers in nz.I suppose it depends how much markup you'd need to make it all work.Getting materials at wholesale price would also be a prerequisite.
It would be very hard to compete with the Chinese suppliers,especially when they often throw in free shipping.
Incidentally,and not altogether off-topic,is anyone selling printed parts only for the Greg Frost extruder?
I will need a set when I get my new J-head MK5 hotend.
This is probably the only way you could do it,make 3d parts for people who do not yet have a working printer.
But then,what do I know,I'm just a newbie.
Re: Who wants a locally made RepRap Kit?
November 06, 2014 02:50AM
There's certainly a lot of interest in 3D printing. The number of people that attended the Lower Hutt Library lecture series is a good indication of that.
But I suspect that most people who would be interested in kit-sets either have one or will source parts from overseas. I agree with clogs that you would have trouble competing with Chinese suppliers, especially when you would need to straight away add 15% GST.

I think are a couple of, as yet, untapped markets in 3D printing.

One is training courses. A lot of people are interested in learning how to use 3D printers and 3D modelling software. This could be combined with help to assemble a kit (which the trainer could supply maybe).

Another market is plastic thread recycling. Thread is expensive, so being able to recycle milk bottles or other plastic into printer thread is something I would happily pay for.
Re: Who wants a locally made RepRap Kit?
November 06, 2014 05:31AM
OK, well let’s take a slightly different approach, rather than looking at the market and what a local kit would have to compete against, let’s instead look at the conversation another way.

if a Buddy of yours see's your 3D printer and thinks it's the neatest thing since sliced bread and wants to get one himself, but wants your advice, what kind of options would you like to see available for them, rather than what is currently available.

Would it be nice to have a kit/shop you can point them towards? What kind of kit/ printer would you like to advise them to get, rather than having to help them self-source everything?

This may not go anywhere so hypothetically speaking what would you look for to get this buddy started?
Re: Who wants a locally made RepRap Kit?
November 06, 2014 04:27PM
I suppose I would steer him to an I3 based machine,since that,s what i'm familiar with.It would have to have the ramps electronics,
and maybe a wade's or Greg Frost extruder type,with a good quality hot end.
The rest of the hardware depends mostly on how much you want to spend.
Stainless threaded rod instead of zinc plated,Silver steel smooth rod instead of chromed,their are various ways of cutting the cost a bit.
Aluminium bed carrier,rather than the acrylic one I have,as there is still some flex in mine after fitting the correct bearing blocks.
Nuts,bolts,etc. don't have to be stainless,but I wouldn't use any zinc stuff on the parts that have to deal with heat.
That would be asking for trouble.
The sort of kit i bought from china would make a starting point,as i cannot fault the hardware.It's just the Melzi board that let it down.
Then you would have to add the ramps electronics,and the hotend from hotends.com,or something similar.
There would be no point in going with a chinese copy,as you said,they're more trouble than they're worth.
Add a solid wooden baseboard to mount it on,as i find ,having only one work surface at the moment,i frequently have to move my printer.
But that's something most people could easily do themselves,and to their own taste.
And of course,give them the the neccessary web links to this forum and you tube videos for assembly.
As a rough estimate of cost,I would say budget at a minimum $800 for this setup.
That's still less than the Davinci you linked to,certainly the running cost will be less than Davinci's propietary cartridges.
On the other hand,if your mate is useless with a spanner or screwdriver,tell him to start saving for his $2500 Replicatorgrinning smiley.
Re: Who wants a locally made RepRap Kit?
November 06, 2014 05:33PM
A bit of training covering the basics would have been awesome and a huge time saver!
If there is a hard way to do something I’ll find it! I spent untold hours researching 3D printer models then building / fixing / modifying one and finally months and months learning various CAD packages before settling on FreeCAD.
IMHO having a 3D printer is just the beginning, actually creating printable models and getting good prints is the real skillset. There would definitely be a market for providing 3D printing education.
You could run three courses
- a course the gives an overview of 3D printing technologies from printers to materials and sourcing models to print
- a course that covers sourcing, building and maintaining your own printer (you could provide the kits or hire out your own printers to students)
- a class on using CAD to create printable models
Re: Who wants a locally made RepRap Kit?
November 06, 2014 06:36PM
That's more in line with what I was thinking.

As far as the individual components go it would depend on what you are trying to achieve with the Kit, same as when you self source, there are a lot of options.
What I want to get out of the way first is if people would prefer an entry level Prusa, Mendel, rostock, yada yada yada.

On that note, I'm really impressed with Nicholas Seward's new core XZ that he built, not sure everyone likes the idea of fishing line instead of Z threaded rods though.
While it adds a level of complexity to the build, it also cures some of the problems of the Prusa I3, and having a nice Kit for these in NZ may increase the level of average print quality seen within our community.

next part of the conversation would be what they expect as far as the componentry. like is it ok to call it "Budget" and make the kit out of laser cut acrylic or MDF, or should we go for something a bit more Heated build chamber friendly so that the entry level printer still has a lot of possibility ahead of it as far as after market modification goes before the buyer needs to look at building/ buying another printer?

but hey, lets pick a model first tongue sticking out smiley

The Prusa I3 still seems to be the most popular first printer model, based on the questions being asked in the forums and IRC chat, if you see a new post or question it quite often boils down to help me with my prusa. It is also the design that I'm most familiar with, if I was to proceed with building kits, this is probably the design I would go with.

Is there anyone out there that would suggest something else that they would like to see, or any arguments against the Prusa, I'm all ears ( or eyes, it's a forum?)
Re: Who wants a locally made RepRap Kit?
November 06, 2014 06:45PM
Sorry AgentX that I didn't address your concerns in the above post, I work in a call centre during the day, so I tap out my reply in between calls.

there are a lot of guides out there, and I think we can collectively collate these guides and get a forum sticky.

I know josef Prusa wrote a book on 3d Printer design where he also goes over model creation, and there are a few books also dedicated to design considerations for 3d printing.

If I was to build the kits (a big if) I would prefer to have it partially assembled and everything test fit before shipping anyway, so hopefully it would eliminate some problems before they start.
adding link to book

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/2014 06:54PM by Zerker.
Re: Who wants a locally made RepRap Kit?
November 06, 2014 10:06PM
I think the I3 Prusa is a good starting point.It,s relatively easy to swap out parts,or upgrade.
I think that's important,so a beginner can upgrade as he becomes more familiar with his printer.
I have read some people's ravings against the Prusa,claiming it's an unstable,wobbly mess.
I don't know which model they were referring to,but my I3 is pretty solid,and made good prints while i had it working.
My $0.02,for what it's worth.
Re: Who wants a locally made RepRap Kit?
November 07, 2014 12:20AM
the Prusa I2 did get a few bad reviews here and there in regards to the use of threaded rod frame, and a regular need for calibration, this can point to poor construction and calibration issues though.
Not having built, owned or seen one in person, this is all hear say. I've seen recommendations from using Nylock nuts to using Locktite to overcome this. Trouble was when you had to re-calibrate both were a PAITA. to adjust some of the Beds you had to adjust the nuts on the frame, instead of just levelling the bed with a few turns of a nut on the bed its self.

along those lines the I3 can have wobble problems, the biggest complaint I've seen is the Z banding, this can be overcome to some degree through calibration and using other parts.

byy using a higher quality Z threaded rod and a soft Z couple it should have less issues, if your thread is poor or you have poor alignment and the ever popular Hard couples then you get exacerbated Z banding issues, which is sometimes called Z wobble, and may be what your seeing people complain about.

the coreXZ is supposed to alleviate most of that by getting rid of the threaded rod for Z movement, but I dunno, haven't built one
Re: Who wants a locally made RepRap Kit?
November 07, 2014 01:14AM
I've just had a look at the coreXZ,and it looks quite interesting.I would be a bit worried about all those pulleys though,especially when mounted on wooden surfaces.
If the "string" is tightened a little too much,the pulleys could be pulled out of alignment.I also doubt the durability of the pulleys if steel wire is used as the string.
After some time,the steel would wear a groove in the soft aluminium pulleys.Perhaps he used steel pulleys,it's a bit hard to tell from the video i saw.
On the plus side,it cuts out a lot of parts,compared to ,say,an I3.
I'm almost tempted to try it myself.Almost!
As for the dreaded Z wobble,My machine has the acme threaded rods integral with the Z steppers.I seem to remember someone referring to those as a "china special"
It cuts out the couplers,so to me it seems like an improvement.The only better method would be $$$$ ball screws.
The XZ is different for sure,but is it better?I guess only time will tell.
Re: Who wants a locally made RepRap Kit?
November 09, 2014 04:36PM
I would think the CoreXZ is using braided fishing line (spectra/dyneema). As clogs51 states - wire would cut and using timber for the frame has it's own issues. I use 150lb braided line on flanged bearing on my CoreXY aluminium framed printer and it works beautifully. I hadn't thought of using it on Z too. Might think about trying that...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/09/2014 04:43PM by AgentX.
Re: Who wants a locally made RepRap Kit?
November 09, 2014 07:48PM
Have a look at his Post here
he advises this is his direct response to the Prusa I3, the only problem I see with fishing line is the line "Walking" on the spool and maintaining Tension, which he covers in the thread anyway.

Back on topic, is it worth doing a Prusa I3 kit or have there been sufficient advancements to make the I3 kinda dated? I'd anticipate at least a year from concept to kit being available.

I'm of two minds about this, the prusa has it's issues but is relatively cheap to build and I'm familiar enough with the design to confidently say I could produce a kit that works, with some development time to work with suppliers trying to get costs down. On the other hand, I've got my printer built and want to start exploring bigger and better things, I almost feel like a mid range kit or a kit for a larger format printer might be worth looking into instead (although selling some kits could pay for the research into a large format printer).

oh and on the note of Profit or GST, GST is only required to be paid by the seller if you sell more than $60,000.00 per year, I would need to check if it still needs to be charged or not, probably not for this kind of transaction.

for Profit, I don't want any, I want to recoup a small stipend for my time so that I can afford to invest my time into other projects but that's all, so cost considerations are more a case of, what is the points against using X material versus Y Material. if it's not detrimental to the functionality or life of the printer then the cheaper of the two would be used.

Also, I'm a complete tight arse when it comes to spending money and I would not expect anyone else to be any different. My Aim for a Kit would be closer to $600 - 650 depending on GST requirements and transaction costs, and if I want to include spare parts (this would be for a laser cut wood or acrylic frame, not metal, price indicated is a best guess, based on trying to incorporate slightly higher quality components than what mine had and including cost of a power supply (mine was free).
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login