The CupCakeStrap is the concept of using the Makerbot Cupcake design base as a bootstrapping platform for a RepRap. Essentially, a very cheap printer which will print out RepRap parts and then donate its electronics, motors, and even metal hardware.
So, I bet you're asking "What's the attraction to building a Cupcake, with its smaller print area, high price, and odd naming?" Well, first off, it's the cutest of printing machines. Secondly, if it's not going to be purchased outright from Makerbot, it's really not very expensive at all. I'm not trying to say that the machines Makerbot sells are not excellent or are over priced, but the draw to make one from scratch is pretty strong.
Basics: The makerbot's $750 base price is just for: laser-cut plywood and laser-cut plastic = $200 3 NEMA 17 stepper motors and one big gearmotor = $75 Nichrome wire, PTFE tube, and a milled barrel and nozzle ~ $30 Last but NOT least, the electronics for controlling it. = $200 Nuts, bolts, bearings, pulleys and assorted metal parts, including some magnets ~ $XXXXXXXX Belts Metal rods and brushings 1lb of ABS M3 and M8 Allen keys
The "deluxe" version adds $200 for the following: Some more laser cut plastic An ATX powersupply (like in a desktop computer) A USB to TTL cable to interface with it The cables that you need to connect the machine up it its own parts 5lbs more ABS Hex keys, wrenches, and some metal parts An SD card.
Now, that's a respectable list, and probably worth every penny to someone who does not already have any of those items. However, if you are in a position to use or borrow any of those things, the price becomes a lot less appetizing. Thus, it is a good idea to treat the machine as a RepStrap, and not worry about building an exact clone of the Master CupCake in whose likeness all other CupCakes are forged.