In terms of Adrian Bowyer’s original vision when he conceived the RepRap 3D printer project; 2012, in my opinion, is really the year when he can truly say it has come to pass. The open source project was envisaged to be organic with the aim of producing self-replicating machines that would grow in number within a global domain. When I interviewed Adrian very early on in 2012 he could only estimate at the number of RepRap systems, in their various forms, across the globe. At the end of 2012 it is impossible to know the number of individual RepRap based machines that are in existence, but it is almost as difficult to put a number on the organizations developing commercial operations based on the RepRap principle. So many have come to the fore throughout this year — and they continue to do so.
Here is another one, I know there are more I am not aware of yet:
EchoRap is a simple and robust RepRap 3D printer designed by Robotic Sequencing based in Canada. It is a low-cost and simplified version of the original RepRap 3D printer using tubes instead of threaded rods for a different geometry. The design is faithful to the original concept, licensed as it is under Creative Commons Non-Commercial, and available to anyone that wishes to build their own 3D printer based on this design. Files to print parts are available on Thingiverse.
The design is flexible and can be built as a RepRap or a RepStrap — all parts can be 3D printed or cut. According to the developers, assembly of the system is simple because it comprises tubes and simple coupling. The X, Y and Z axes can be enlarged using longer tubes and rods.
However, Robotic Sequencing is also offering the EchoRap for sale — as a complete kit or a mechanical only kit.
Current table size allows the use of standard Mendel or Prusa heated beds. The EchoRap system utilises Gen7 Electronics, PrintrBoard rev D, which has been tested and works well; but other RepRap electronics can also be used.
All of the software is open source.
System dimensions: 510 x 585 x 540mm (20.1 x 23.1 x 21.26in)
Weight: 8.18kg (18lbs)
Build area: 220 x 220 x 200mm (7.9 x 7.9 x 7.87in)
Available in a choice of colours: White, Red, Orange, Blue, Green or Silver (a little extra)
To demonstrate the capabilities of the EchoRap a couple of drops of light — LED lights designed by Dzingof — have been printed on the alpha EchoRap system.
The two lamps where printed with glow-in-the-dark ABS, the small one at 40mm/s and the second one at 60mm/s.
The lamps where printed at EasternBloc.ca, Kelly Andres selected the model, sliced and printed the first one.