Printrbot is the smallest, simplest, cheapest, RepRap 3D printer in the world.
The overall goal is not to win the Gada Prize - although I would be proud :), rather, the goal is to offer a printer that kids can put together and operate. My dream is to provide every school with a Printrbot... and that every Printrbot will produce offspring that produces offspring (...etc....) until every home has a 3D printer.
One 3D Printer Per Home is a huge goal. In reality, only some students will even WANT a 3D printer, so that lowers the bar significantly. My short-term goal is to provide Printrbot 3D printers to any school interested-- AT COST, so that the students who want them can use the school Prinrbot to print the parts to make a Printrbot.... just add electronics, stepper motors, smooth and threaded rod. Through our "Print It Forward" program, we will ask each school to print, assemble and donate a Printrbot to 3 other schools. Although everyone is welcome to source their own parts, Printrbot.com will offer a student kit at the lowest possible cost to make this feasible. Printrbot is already at a SUB-$300 costfor all non-printed parts. A "Printrbot jr." is in the works to break the $200 price point for all non-printed parts on the smaller model. By relying on schools and Printrbot owners to print 3 other sets of parts to construct a Printrbot, we hope to spread the RepRap love far and wide!
Printrbot is a reality. While I am in a testing phase, this is a real 3D printer that prints TODAY. I have designed this printer myself, only using other people's work for optional items. The non-original parts I use are: --Greg's Hinged Accessible Extruder by GregFrost (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:8252) --one optional Printable Ball Bearing Upgrade by GregFrost (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:8574) --two 10t XL Pulleys for SAE Prusa Mendel by BenJackson (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:7454) --a set of Herringbone Gears for Gregs Accessible extruder by Sublime (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5111)
Three Designs: Printrbot, jr. and Sr. The Printrbot is the original design that has a medium sized printbed. The Printrbot jr. is the ultra-small, ultra-cheap version that pushes the boundaries of size, cost and simplicity for a 3D printer. The Printrbot Sr. (Gada Edition) will be the special version built specifically for the Gada Prize. While I am grateful that the Gada prize is pushing the technology forward, I believe that 3D printers that have lesser specifications (than the Gada Prize rules dictate) will still be greatly useful for families everywhere. SO my first model will be the original "Printrbot" that aims at the sweet-spot between practicality and price. The Printrbot jr. version will be next to lower the barriers to entry for 3D printing at home. Then, finally, the Gada Prize version: Printrbot Sr.
NOTE: according to the official Gada Prize Rules here: http://humanityplus.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/HumanityRepRapGrandPersonalManufacturingPrize.pdf - I formally am using the "no derivatives for the Gada Prize” clause. I believe the approach I am using is unique and original to my design.
Currently, I have a mechanically complete Printrbot and am working on lowering the part count and making the construction even simpler. The bot is being printed on a Makerbot Cupcake, so the parts are small and any machine can print them. Thepart count is EXTREMELY low. The part counts below include the extruder:
-Printed Parts: 22 -Roller Bearings: 6 -Linear Bearings: 11 -Nuts & Bolts: 51 -Smooth/Threaded Rods: 11
Total part count (Sans motors, electronics, hot end): 101 ..... and shrinking.
Motors: 4x Nema17 Electronics: Teensylu Hot End: Introducing the NEW "Ubis Hotend"
Formal announcement coming soon on Printrbot.com