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This project is about building a 3D printer for rapid prototyping. In contrast to a milling machine the process is additive i.e. the workpiece is built-up layer by layer, usually from thermoplastic material. Different commercial devices exists - needless to say, they are pricey. The goal of a RepRap machine is the ability to print almost all parts it consists of, hence a self-replicating rapid prototyper.


After seing Vik's presentation about how to build a RepRap we've started our own implementation of a RepRap. Then Bre Pettis came by in November 2007 and decided to build a McWire-based RepRap for Roboexotica 2007. In a week. Unfortunately the motor drivers have been blown during exhibition but the revived machine has been sucessfully presented at Robexotica 2008, it even won an award. Metalab inherited Bre's RepRap (yay!) and it's now used as a basis for our own RepRap.

Note: At the moment, what we're building is really a RepStrap which we already use to print parts for our first "real" RepRap.

Status (List of Milestones achieved )

Recent progress can be seen at the Metalab RepRap Soup

  • Parts ordered from the RepRap Research Foundation for XYZ axis and extruder boards.
  • XYZ axis is working.
  • We can now also control our CNC machine from the RepRap software using a modified Arduino firmware and a CNC Arduino shield.
  • First version of the extruder is resurrected from Bre's old parts and successfully extrudes HDPE.
  • We can print handcoded objects using a quick and dirty Arduino firmware.
  • GCode firmware is working! The GCode files are at the moment hand-coded.
    • Knowledge Base for the GCode Toolchain accumulating here RepRap/GCode
  • Next step is to establish a pipeline from design to printed parts. At the moment, we're thinking about doing this based on GCode.
  • Full pipeline working, tuned parameters for solid objects. Going for replication :) --Wizard23 05:51, 16. Jul. 2008 (CEST)
  • We need stepper motors for fixing our seedling. If anyone has an old printer or scanner lying around, we'll be happy to inherit it and salvage its precious guts.
  • Switched to ABS. Moved extruder to the CNC for high speed and high precision printing.
  • First functional part printed :)
  • Applying for NetzNetz Grants
  • Extruded Extruder is Extruding (first step towards self replication)

Next Steps

  • Start using Z endstop for automatic positioning
  • test lower temperatures/higher z spacing for using ABS as support structure
  • unleash the creative potential of mankind

Materials in the Lab

  • Two glasses CAPA/Polymorph -> went missing after the camp?
  • A roll of HDPE
  • All necessary boards, electronics and plastic parts for the RepRap and some spare parts



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