Dr. Adrian Bowyer of the University of Bath and the father of the RepRap 3D printer takes us on a video tour of RepRap, including the new Mendel RepRap model. Bowyer speaks enthusiastically on the device, tools for 3D modelling and 3D model repositories.
The Mendel RepRap is physically smaller than its predecessor model, Darwin, yet has a greater build size. Smaller on the outside, bigger on the inside. Both models are able to reproduce approximately half of their own parts, the remainder being electronics and critical metal parts. The Mendel version produces better quality objects, but Bowyer says the big issue is the “human ease of assembly” of the device, so that is what his team is concentrating on.
The build material used by RepRap is typically plant based plastic (polylactic acid, made from starch), which is “easy to make on your own, but with one tricky step.” The tricky step involves drying the material to less than 10ppm of water, which would indeed be tricky!
Other build materials discussed include ABS and HDPE. the common plastic used in milk bottles. The strategy is to design an accompanying “Shredder” that can eat the milk bottles or other similar plastic sources to produce new build material. As Bowyer demonstrates, you’ll be able to shred your 3D printed shoes and print new ones as they wear out or you change size! The shredding component is still being designed, but as the project is entirely open source, perhaps someone else may be working on it.
A brief discussion of experimental circuit boards showed two techniques, both of which have some limitations. One circuit board involved printing grooves that are subsequently filled with molten solder. It’s not quite ready for general use yet, but we’re very pleased this is being developed.
Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!
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Welcome to Fabbaloo, one of the world’s oldest online news sources for 3D printing news. We’ve been in operation since 2007, where we first started examining the state of 3D printers. These devices are now relatively common among some circles in today’s world, but years ago it was extremely rare to see a 3D printer or even a 3D printed object.
At that time it was challenging to find any 3D printing news, so we decided to make our own site that covered 3D printer news, and even associated technologies like 3D scanning and 3D modeling. Today it is common to find 3D printers in schools, workshops and makerspaces, and you probably have been using 3D printed objects without even knowing they were 3D printed.
Today’s industry has finally taken up the challenge by installing thousands of industrial 3D printers, each producing previously impossible 3D printed parts that make today’s society far more efficient. The aerospace industry in particular has been producing many 3D printed parts, some even for flight critical purposes.
If you want to learn about 3D printers, then there’s no better place than Fabbaloo’s 3D printer news to see the latest happenings.
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