RepRap Version II "Mendel"
The machine on the right is the RepRap printer, which we lovingly call "Mendel". It's the second, new-improved version: small enough to fit on your desk but with a print volume large enough for you to make big things (see specifications below). The machine is made up of bits bought in from local suppliers, and parts which it has made itself - all the translucent structural components.
In the picture, behind the machine, you can see the RepRap software which you can use to print [www.thingieverse.com your thing]. We give this, and the designs for the machine away, free - it's all open source. Though you do have to buy in some standard components from... well, whoever you want... which can cost up to £395 (this is still 30 times cheaper than the cheapest equivalent commecial 3D printer!). The idea of getting all the materials and building your own machine may seem daunting, but this section is dedicated to making the whole process as easy as possible for you.
|'||UK metric||US imperial|
|Technology||FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)/Thermoplastic extrusion|
|Annual Service Cost||Occasional oiling = £5||Occasional oiling = $10|
|Size & Wt.||500 mm (W) x 400 mm (D) x 360 mm (H), weight TBC||20” (W) x 16” (D) x 14” (H), weight TBC|
|Build Envelope||200 mm (W) x 200 mm (D) x 140 mm (H)||8” (W) x 8” (D) x 5.5” (H)|
|Materials||PLA, HDPE, ABS & more. Uses ø 3 mm filament.||PLA, HDPE, ABS & more. Uses ø 0.118” filament.|
|Material Cost||PLA: £20/kg, HDPE: £10/kg, ABS: £15/kg||PLA: $14/lb, HDPE: $7/lb, ABS: $10/lb|
|Accuracy||Resolution of nozzle 0.5 mm, 2 mm min. feature size, 0.1 mm positioning accuracy, layer thk 0.5 mm||Resolution of nozzle 0.0196”, 0.0787” min. feature size, 0.0039 positioning accuracy, layer thk 0.0196”|
Mendel vs. Darwin
Mendel is the latest generation RepRap machine. Mendel supercedes the first version, which we call Darwin. For RepRap Version I "Darwin" instructions follow this link.
Mendel has the following key improvements over Darwin:
- Bigger print area, smaller machine footprint
- Improved constraint on the z-axis to eliminate jamming
- Better axis efficiency
- Simpler assembly
- Capacity of tool changing
This video illustrates these improvements:
For a numerical comparison see this blog post.