Deciding on a RepRap of Your Own for 3D Printing - dummies

Deciding on a RepRap of Your Own for 3D Printing

By Kalani Kirk Hausman, Richard Horne

Part of 3D Printing For Dummies Cheat Sheet

When it comes to 3D printing, selecting a RepRap printer for personal use begins with an analysis of your particular need in terms of the type, size and other qualities such as turnkey off-the-shelf or build-it-yourself creation. Total cost is also a factor, along with source licensing preference such as the determination of open vs. closed source technologies.

Some of the RepRap designs include:

  • Mendel, Prusa Mendel, Mendel90, Prusa i3: One of the more common branches of Cartesian design, this printer has spawned many variations including the miniaturized Huxley.

  • Wallace and Printrbot: Common educational-sector alternatives for kit construction.

  • MendelMax: This is the derivative of the Prusa Mendel that’s an example of Cartesian RepRaps.

  • Ultimaker: A box-frame RepRap using Cartesian movement.

  • Tantillus: A miniature box-frame RepRap which has the most 3D printable parts of current RepRap variations.

Several RepRap options exist beyond the standard Cartesian format, including:

  • Rostock, RostockMax: A Delta-format RepRap printer that provides a tall build volume. The RostockMax is a laser-cut kit form that we will build here as an example of Delta RepRaps.

  • 3DR: An alternative delta-style RepRap designed by Richard Horne, based on the Rostock format with inspiration from the Tantillus for self-replication.

After identifying the type of printer, you will need to select the proper type of plastic filament you wish to print with and the components that will be used in building the printer itself, including the framework, extruder, build plate, control electronics and software that will be used.