Reprap: A Tinkerer’s Wonderland
Anybody who has ever used a 3D printer, for sure, must know RepRap. It is widely used among the printing community around the globe. Some of the founders of 3D printing companies have played in this manufacturing wonderland once in their life, cultivating deep initiative, perseverance, and skills in the process, three of the major qualities needed in achieving something new or improved. Dr. Adrian Bowyer, a senior lecturer at the University of Bath, specifically in the mechanical engineering department, founded the company in 2005.
RepRap is the first machine that can self-replicate. Since it is mostly made out of plastics, it can print its own parts to create a kit of itself, ready to be assembled to be another finished self-replicating product. Three-dimensional printing is an exciting and promising activity for both leisure and business. Anyone can print whatever they want on this machine as long as they are able to create its computer-aided design. But what makes this self-replicating printer more exciting is the fact that it is available for anyone interested for free.
Since its creation, RepRap has already released four 3D printers, with the first one, named Darwin, completed in March 2007. It was followed by Mendel in 2009; and in 2010, Prusa Mendel and Huxley were released. From these four core products, hundreds of variations have been created by independent makers and enthusiasts. An example of this is the Ultimaker. One of its founders once tinkered with this 3D printer brand.
RepRap is an important player in the 3D printing industry. It is the first affordable 3D printer that is low cost and uses an open-source system.
Since the company has a mission of making 3D printers available to people and communities to enable them to create products without investing a huge amount of money in infrastructure and equipment, they support the mission of possibly distributing units to interested individuals in an inexpensive way. Even if there have been other 3D printers introduced into the market, this self-replicating printer continues to dominate the 3D printing world.
This 3D printing technology is a booming trade, with a predicted growth to $8 billion in 2020. This highly possible disruptive technology would forever change how manufacturing works. With one’s creativity and skills as the only limit, 3D printing is the technology that needs to look out for. RepRap might just be the perfect brand for people who want to experience the wonder of this technology, maybe creating their own version in the future. In the end this is one of the most affordable 3D printers currently on sale, that’s for sure.