Sunday, April 3, 2011

RepRap Entry

I just entered the Protobot in the RepStrap area at I want to explain the Rep-Strappedness of the machine to any who may venture here.

I built the majority of this machine from parts liberated from an italian hair sorting machine that was being scrapped. It is considered Version B, Unit 0.1 because it is what my brother ( musings in futility ) and I consider to be a mid-sized machine. We want to build a Version A, which will be something like a Ultimaker or a Janome JSG where there are redundant guides on upper (X,Y) axis.

Claimed innovations in our design include the redundant guides coupled with the fact that the machine will be capable of reproducing itself in metal. We will also go to the effort of creating a process of creating metal parts from base material ( ie, aluminum cans ) as well as plastic parts from base material that has one way or another been taken from previously used material.

VB0.1 will be self reproducing and capable of the following:

          3D scanning with physical probe and/or a laser scanner
          Routing wood, composites and plastics.
          Cutting stencils, vinyl and other sheet material with Vacuum hold down.
          Cutting Foam using hot knife process.
          Performing typical Cartesian Robot functions
          Plotting using a typical pen plotter as well as traditional human implements ( pencil, markers, brushes.)
          Light milling to include  aluminum and light steel
Many processes exist in metal working that I feel have not been exploited by the RepRap community. These include the use of low temperature alloys, DIY lost foam metal casting, electroforming etc. Our work will parallel the RepRap community in the sense that VB0.1 for example will use metal taken from recycled sources and utilize it for self duplication and creation of it's younger, smaller sibling ( VA0.1 ) which will go on to self duplicate..
My major argument being that I don't see the difference between a machine that can duplicate itself in metal ( which is 100% recyclable) and a machine that is duplicating itself with plastic and metal parts that are not sustainably created. furthermore the PROTOBOT series will have a higher content of parts that are self created compared to COTS ( commercial off the shelf )
I have seen a lot of RepRap users of late build parts for the purpose of repairing previously made parts because the plastic has certain wear characteristics. this will not be the case using aluminum or other machined composite parts.


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