This of course entails producing a very family friendly list of reprap parts, carefully itemised, from reputable suppliers, such that my family stand a chance of ordering the right bits! All in, I think the total cost will be around £350 (exc filament), which seems very competitive compared to buying a full kit.
What to build?
- Settled on a Prusa Mendel as the perfect "first fabber" project, Huxley is too small and I'd rather not go via the repstrap route (keen to get to the good stuff )
- Seeduino Mega for the controller (with a bunch of Pololu A4983 drivers) - seems to be the best value and simplest electronics combo - will use to build the stripboard version of Adrian's Pololu electronics
- I like really like the look of the new v6 hot end from mendel-parts.com - reviews well and should be easy to maintain/extend
- A heated bed seems a no brainer, and the resistor-based heating elements look the way to go
- Power will probably come from an old ATX supply (if I can find one lying around) or perhaps a laptop power brick
Who to buy it from?
- First up, I'm more than happy to pass business in the direction of Mr Bowyer, so Pololu's and possibly filament will be coming from his spin-off business: reprapltd.com
- Printed parts would have gone to Adrian as well, however, nophead's parts are in ABS rather than PLA, so given I'm keen to work at higher temperatures, nophead wins: http://shop.ebay.co.uk/nophead00/m.html?_trksid=p4340.l2562
- Vitamins will be from thingfarm.org, great price and a single package contains all main hardware inc. the bits for the extruder
- The Seeduino is somewhat easier to source, with several good options. My shortlist is either robotshop.com or proto-pic.co.uk
- Mendelfactory.com have some great parts, good prices and good UK shipping, so will use them to mop-up on motors (loving the long leads), hot-end (great kit) and heated bed. They also have good value filament, so my 2nd choice for PLA.
- Anything left over (e.g. miscellaneous electronics) I'll probably get from Farnell, Maplin or RS once I'm actually into the build.
I spent last week making those "hard" decisions and compiling a parts list into google docs for the family, assuming they go for it (not like I gave them any other options), I should be able to start assembly by late June - fingers crossed :)