Monday, 6 June 2011

A RepRap is born (or at least specified)

So... after months, perhaps years, of reading about RepRap the time has finally come for me to try and build one.  Nicely catalysed by placing reprap parts as the only items on my birthday list :)

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 - 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:
  • 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:
  • Vitamins will be from, 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 or
  • 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 :)

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