RUG/UK/Thames Valley/Meetings/20110927

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See also Video of the Meeting.

Notes of Meeting 2011-09-27

by Mike. (

An excellent turnout with around 15 ppl planning to build a RepRep a.s.a.p.

Mentors volunteering to mentor on C, Autocad, electrical, electronic, robotic, wiring design areas.

A regular monthly meeting on 4th Tuesday of the month at Copa would suit the majority. Supplemental specialist group meet-ups can be arranged as required.

Al wood showed a prototype integrated electronic unit, others would prefer a modular design to allow more discrete testing and repair in case of higher power components failing.

How many Driver Modules are most cost effective as a batch? Accepting longer lead times will reduce the cost per unit. Volunteers within the group offered to build Modules for others. An electronics steering group to be formed.

SurveyMonkey could be used for decision making by vote, although the level of participation seems uncertain.

Learning for the experience of others with the performance of global suppliers (promise vs reality) and avoiding repeated bad experiences is a benefit to group coordination.

Bulk purchase opportunities and the splitting of minimum batch purchases spread the cost.

Students often work weekends and they may prefer a single longer build party, rather than a series of workshops. Quite feasible to have three coordinated streams of build. Short intense build, modular series build and a correspondence course build supported by remote mentoring. In such cases a 'break and test' point should be defined allowing a workshop event to confirm build is correct.

Could be a 'part-works' version of the kit.

Solo builders and shared build teams.

Be sensitive to others goals in being part of a RepRap community. Some ppl want to create all parts in the true RepRap way, others are happy to incorporate semi-commercial prebuilt parts.

A track of common or expensive part failures should be compiled as a reference.

The TVRepRap Model will be a Modified Design Linear Bearing Prusa Mendal.

An important job that will benefit from 'many heads' is the calibration of the completed machine, the Build Party must allow time to focus on supporting makers with this task.

Evaluating different 'filament' performance with different print heads is something that could be assisted by suppliers donating samples for evaluation.

The 'jet' is critical to quality. There where suggestions about alternate types, eg motor carburettor, MIG welder jets, more experience is needed to prove the performance of these.

What size nozzle should be adopted? Currently Malcolm uses 3mm filament and 350μm nozzle. 1.75mm is the becoming common and may be the new standard.

It would be good to have a target build complete date, Mike suggested 31 December, the practicality of this date can be worked out by creating a timeline in reverse. Electronics could be available by the end of October is the design is firmed up in the next week.

Build party model will determine the cash-flow model and Malcolm will coordinate the Governance for monies and membership. Bulk purchase and call off needs funding up front. Escrow to ensure no body is caught?

Structural parts to be printed by Malcolm/Hannah and Ian.

Option of moulded part could be created by those without printers.

A extra meet-up in mid October to progress financing.