I've been working for a little while with a couple other folks on a reprap. One thing we didn't like about the basic (Darwin) reprap is the large number of parts needed to make it (example). We started coming up with some ideas, and I was able to design a simple 3-axis gantry system that uses 11 copies of a simple printed block, and that's it. all other parts are non-printable, but simple, like threaded rod and bar stock. In theory, the reprap will have interchangeable heads, allowing extrusion, cutting, and maybe even laser cutting. I even want to make a low pressure waterjet, though the added complexity is not fun.

Current status:
  • I think one of the Johns is ordering parts.
  • The design needs to be adjusted to use less plastic per block.
  • Need to get the uBrain or some other motor controller working.
  • Someone needs to look at software to control this thing, but I guess building it comes first.

Idea: Someone needs to interface a reprap to BugLabs.net hardware.

1 comment:

Kyle said...

Assuming you're using steppers, one possible solution is to go with one of the already-developed board/software combos and hack it from there to do whatever else you want. If you've been tracking the RepRap project you can see they've resolved many of the control issues that have become apparent in recent months and are printing things remarkably well (check the blog for examples). And as I understand it there's just a parameter you can change for the number of steps/mm that your setup has, which is all the host software really cares about anyway. If you have any questions just ask, I've been following the project (and wishing I had more spending money... but don't we all) for a while.