New project idea that I’m starting… the LoCoRap

So, you’ve probably heard of the various 3D printer projects as of late, including the RepRap and MakerBot’s CupCake CNC. However, they’re expensive. A RepRap will cost at LEAST $500, and a CupCake starts at $750.

Also, at least the RepRap has some steps that require special skills and tools to assemble – the extruder, for instance, requires a CNC lathe. While I’m a newbie to all of this, it also seems like there are some design decisions on the RepRap that make it more complex, harder to assemble, and more expensive in the long run, although they do make it easier for it to print parts for itself. Case in point, this blog post where a commenter’s main criticism of a possible improvement to the RepRap is that it reduces self-replicatability.

But, why have a $500 machine that can print parts for itself when you can have, for instance, a $100 machine that instead uses readily available off-the-shelf parts with simpler modifications? (And, theoretically, that $100 machine could act as a RepStrap, or a machine that can print the parts required to make a RepRap.) Continue reading “New project idea that I’m starting… the LoCoRap”