Reference: RepRap

What is RepRap?

Look at your computer setup. Imagine if you hooked up a 3D printer. Instead of printing on bits of paper this 3D printer makes real, robust, mechanical parts. To give you an idea of how robust these parts are think of Lego bricks and you’re in the right area. You could make lots of useful stuff, but interestingly you could also make most of the parts to make another 3D printer. That would be a machine that could copy itself.

RepRap is short for Replicating Rapid-prototyper. It is the practical self-copying 3D printer shown on the right – a self-replicating machine. This 3D printer will make components using Fused Deposition Modelling Rapid Prototyping, which builds the component 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 will be about €400). That way it’ll be accessible to small communities in the developing world as well as individuals in the developed world. We are distributing the RepRap machine entirely free to everyone using open-source – so, if you have one, you can make another and give it to a friend…

This is what it looks like:


I mentioned fast-fabrication in the old blog (here and here).

This is the future.

Explore posts in the same categories: Reference - Tech, Tech - Other

2 Comments on “Reference: RepRap”

  1. General Fabb Says:

    If you’re interested in following the news on 3D Printing and digital fabrication, you might consider reading our blog at Fabbaloo or

  2. csven Says:

    The image you’re showing is, afaik, only one version being pursued by the RepRap people (and not the first, though it was immediately my favorite).

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