Team Replicant

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Team Replicant

Release status: Abandoned

Documenting an attempt at replication using the fewest number of non-printable components in a complete system.
Gada Prize
CAD Models
External Link

Project Description

This will be an attempt (like all of the others) to produce a mostly replicating 3d printer. There are quite a few challenges to go and many people have much more experience. However, that is what makes it fun; the challenge. It also means that quite a few people have a head start or have already worked part of the way towards portions of various goals, so there is quite a bit of catching up to do. I would like to apologize in advance if any ideas inadvertently sound like ideas that others have had. I will attempt to give credit where credit is due. However, it also happens to be the case that people have similar ideas independently and unaware of each other on occasion.

Project Goals

Many projects have heated beds and some are working on producing various material deposition technologies or structural components for use in supporting the printer.
Each of us borrow portions of information from the others and attempt to further or improve upon it so that the state of the art is advanced. I will put up costs and suppliers for every portion of the project as I gain materials or record my successes and failures.

The main goals of the project are to produce a printer that can replicate itself as well as a portion of the circuitry necessary to operate. Chips are out of the question, but embedded resistors, capacitors, inductors and conductive traces should be well within the capability of the system. This will be accomplished by printing geometric shapes filled with appropriate materials in 3d space. An additional goal is to produce it all for a cost under $200 and that greater than 90% be printed by volume. However, it should be noted that the heated bed is not considered as part of the cost or volume considerations according to the rules as they were posted.

This project will be designed around the following specifications:

  • 12"x12"x12" (304.8 mm x 304.8 mm x 304.8 mm) printable volume
  • Bed will move in X, current tool will move in Y and Z
  • PIC32 based controller electronics with custom firmware
  • Servo based motors and associated controllers
  • Modular heated bed with rollable print surface (the surface will be a high temperature fabric covered by a kapton film)
    • Bed will be capable of Heating to temperatures suitable for melting low temperature solder paste
      This will enable to unit to act like a reflow oven and to minimize or reduce warping (as shown by many others).
    • Bed will be capable of Cooling rapidly to temperatures below ambient.
      This will enable flexible temperature rules/profiles for experimentation of structure properties as well as improve the amount of time it takes to transition between steps on the profile.
  • Automatic ejection of completed parts from the print surface
  • The entire frame will be composed of connectible printed parts, with the goal that they will snap or fit together with the minumum number of screws or other fasteners to make a solid structure. Though currently the amount of time it would take to print the entire frame is too long to meet the Gada Prize requirement of 10 days, it is hoped that improvements in technology from other areas (materials, tool heads, heated beds, etc) will make this possible during the time frame of the contest.
  • No Belts will be used in the construction of the movable components.
  • All gears will be printed where possible.
  • Modular/Changeable extruders and tool heads
  • The following materials will be supported
    • Plastic (ABS, HDPE, Etc)
    • Conductive, Resistive, Dielectric, Plain/Colored inks
    • Metal (Low Melting point)

Working Notes.

I will include updates for everything I work on here

Forum thread,37051

Files and Parts

STL Downloads

Model STLs

Firmware Downloads


Photos and Drawings

Pictures of completed portions and models.

Related Projects

All information used from other sources will be documented here.