RepRap

June 14, 2007

What is RepRap?

RepRap version 1.0

RepRap is short for Replicating Rapid-prototyper. It is the practical self-copying 3D printer shown on the right.

The RepRap project became widely known after a large press coverage in March 2005, though the idea goes back to a paper on the web written by Adrian Bowyer on 2 February 2004.

RepRap
will make plastic, ceramic, or metal parts, and is itself made from
plastic parts, so it will be able to make copies of itself. It is a
three-axis robot that moves several material extruders. These extruders
produce fine filaments of their working material with a paste-like
consistency. If RepRap
were making a plastic cone, it would use its plastic extruder to lay
down a quickly-hardening 0.5mm filament of molten plastic, drawing a
filled-in disc. It would then raise the plastic extrusion head and draw
the next layer (a smaller filled disc) on top of the first, repeating
the process until it completed the cone. To make an inverted cone it
would also lay down a support material under the overhanging parts. The
support would be removed when the cone was complete. Conductors can be
intermixed with the plastic to form electronic circuits – in 3D even!

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