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This Q&A format FAQ is organised very loosely on the typical lifecycle of a reprap project, that is the questions are collected under headings which match the various phases a typical reprapper may go through in building and using a reprap machine. If a particular section becomes unwieldy then perhaps the older questions can be relegated to an overflow FAQ for that particular topic.


Where can I find an overview?
Where can I find help and support?
What is the history of the reprap?


Where can I buy a reprap?
Where can I source the parts to build a reprap?


Which reprap derivative should I build?
  • Repstrap - Suitable if you don't have the desire or money to buy a set of printed parts, and have access to tools and materials (or junk), plus the aptitude, time, and interest to knock something together (or simply the desire to learn). Or when you simply want to tinker on something of your own design.
  • Prusa Mendel - Fewer parts, simpler design. This is the design most people are building now.
  • Mendel - This is the older design, much more complicated than the Prusa.
  • Huxley - A simplified and smaller version of the Mendel, but still capable of printing Mendel parts.
  • Darwin - The oldest RepRap design. Not recommended to build at this time.
What is a repstrap?

A 3D printer cobbled together from whatever parts you can find which will eventually allow you to print the parts for a reprap machine, or to simply use as a stand alone machine. Derived from the term bootstrap, as in "to pull yourself up by your bootstraps"



Handy Hints
  • Q: Should stranded copper wires be tinned with solder before connecting to screw terminals.
  • A: Industrial best practice is to NOT tin wires that are to be terminated with screw terminals.
Which electronics should I use?


Which firmware should I use?

If using RAMPS: Sprinter:, Sprinter has built in SD Card support.


Walk through: Calibration

It doesn't work! How can I find out what I should try?
"Circles not coming out Circles",71788

"Shifted Layers / Offset Layers / Missed Steps"

"Blobbing due to small pauses.",79837

Design and Model

What (open source) 3d modelling tool should I use?
  • Openscad - The Programmers Solid 3D CAD Modeller

See Useful Software Packages#2D and 3D CAD software for other open-source and closed-source 3D modelling software.



What can I use to produce gcode?



How do I tame Skeinforge?
  • You don't. It tames you. In other words, have patience!
Why does my extruder not work after ugrading/installing Skeinforge 40 (11.02.24)?



Where can I find ideas for improving reprap?

See: FutureToolIdeas, Category:Development, Ideas to place, Development_Pathway, FuturePlans

How do I know what is actively being developed?


Where can I sell my reprap?
Are there any special rules or laws when disposing parts or materials from a reprap project? For example throwing away waste feedstock?

PLA: Toss this on your compost dump, or return it to a depot as plant waste.