What is the Clonedel?
<flickr>5505230025|right|m</flickr> The Clonedel is a RepStrap design which is essentially a Prusa Mendel that is modified for easy casting.
The design goal of the clonedel is to make production of plastic parts trivial. Using a set of molds and 15 minute cure urethane, you can have a full set of parts in under an hour.
Parts are being redesigned to make them use less material, and easier to demold. They are also being redesigned to take into account the properties of the materials.
For maximum resolution of master plates, it is recommended that you use a powder-based printer.
Where did these parts come from?
If you got your parts from Metrix Create:Space, they were cast out of a two-part urethane cold-casting plastic compound, called Smooth-On Smooth Cast 325.
The original (positive) masters of these parts were printed on a Zcorp Z400 powder printer at Metrix Create:Space in Seattle around the beginning of March 2011. The design is from Mark Ganter’s lab at the University of Washington, and is a modification of the Prusa Mendel for easy casting.
These parts were printed from the designs located on our GitHub page.
Can I break them with a couple pairs of pliers?
Yes! Neil has done this so you don't have to.
They definitely fall into the design spec of being able to hold up during a rigorous printing session. The current material used to cast these parts is strong, but perhaps not as 'tough' as ABS. Plastics have many properties, and given enough torque, you can break just about anything. These meet the demands that will be put on them.
Given some testing, you will find that smooth-on 325/300 are harder to crush than PLA or ABS, less brittle than PLA (you can flex it a little more) and under torque, will snap rather than tear like ABS fibers. If your goal is have an indestructible robot, you might be better off with a really hard silicone.
The surface looks rough
The clonedels masters are printed on a Powder printer, and are not post processed for finish. The design goal of this project is to build structural parts for a 3D printer which is not only in short supply, but generally printed with a low resolution FDM process. When the goal switches to art-object, the finish will most likely change. That said, you can post process parts, or come up with higher quality molds quite easily.
Can I build a printer with them?
Most certainly, and people are doing that now
Here is a video of one printing. <flickr>5509415269</flickr>
Can I make my own?
But of course! Use the Moldmaking Tutorial.
If you don't have a set of parts to make the mold from, print, borrow, or buy a set.
The best way to do all this, of course, is to get a set of cast parts, build a RepRap, and then print a set of parts, and make a mold from them ...
How do I turn this into a Prusa?
Tools and Supplies
- One set of parts
- Drill bits:
- Knife (a box knife will probably work)
- Remove the parts from the shipping container.
- Use the knife to clean the flashing off the parts.
- Locate a drill press and drill out most of the holes with the appropriate size bit. The parts have divets to help align your holes.
- Tap the setscrew hole on the small pulleys with the tap.
- Follow the instructions for the Prusa Mendel.