For some educational fun, I’ve decided to build a RepRap with my younger brother.

RepRap is short for Replicating Rapid-prototyper. It is the practical self-copying 3D printer shown above – a self-replicating machine. This 3D printer builds the parts up in layers of plastic. This technology already exists, but the cheapest commercial machine would cost you about €30,000. And it isn’t even designed so that it can make itself. So what the RepRap team are doing is to develop and to give away the designs for a much cheaper machine with the novel capability of being able to self-copy (material costs are about €500). That way it’s accessible to small communities in the developing world as well as individuals in the developed world. Following the principles of the Free Software Movement we are distributing the RepRap machine at no cost to everyone under the GNU General Public Licence. So, if you have a RepRap machine, you can use it to make another and give that one to a friend…

Has anyone built a RepRap before?

  1. Eric says:

    No, but you should also check out MakerBot.com (it's their version of reprap)… I guess you can call it a fork.

    • aantn says:

      Thanks, I've been looking at MakerBot.

      I originally ruled it out because I wanted to make the entire RepRap (including the electronics) from scratch. However, recently I've been considering assembling the MakerBot, RepStrapping it to a real RepRap, and then slowly replacing the electronics with my own custom made parts.

  2. Craig Loftus says:

    I haven’t built one either, but I do work just upstairs from where the ‘parent and child’ photo was taken. Technically, I’m in the same research centre as Adrian although I don’t work on anything of that sort.

    The website and forums seem pretty active but if you need any questions asking I can pop down and have a chat.


  3. Dread Knight says:

    I've seen a website selling 3d printers for 5000$!