RepRap

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RedRap is an open source rapid prototyping system for 3D Printing.

About

RepRap 3D prints using plastics and is most notable for being self-replicating, with a RepRap being capable of printing another RepRap machine.

RepRap printers can create a set of plastic pieces using either PLA or ABS plastic filament. The parts of the printer the RepRap can print are those that hold the frame together along with pieces that anchor the stepper motors, hold the circuit board, and the gears that are driven by the extruder stepper motor. Metal parts, such as threaded steel rods, nuts and bolts, a glass or acrylic print bed, one or more toothed belts for moving the stage and the print head, and typically a PC power supply unit and a printer cable.

Effective software for driving a RepRap printer is Pronterface, a free, open-source program. Pronterface can be used to calibrate the printer. It can open most 3D model file types as input for printing. It is integrated with Slic3r, a program that takes the 3D model and a series of layers that the printer then uses to print the model. Slic3r automatically sets layer height based on user input extruded filament diameter and generates the GCODE that actually tells the stepper motors how to rotate and in what sequence to print the object.

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