The machine :

Reprap/Repstrap, what is that again ?

Of course, not everyone might know what a reprap/repstrap is :  the official site has a very good explanationhere , and the wikipedia article is quite complete aswell .

Basically its an open source 3d printer , ie, just like you can print text with a standard printer, with this type of device you can actually print (generally plastic) objects!

I could go on for ages about the endless possibilities of such machines , the more you know and think about them, the more you see what they are able to do , even at the relatively early stage in their development, the more amazed you’ll become !

3d printers have actually existed for quite a while,  but they were very expensive , commercial, and closed (as in not open source), they have just become accessible for us mere mortals in the last few years, and their evolution , the different experimentation people are doing with them, are quite staggering.

A RepStrap works along the same lines as a Reprap, minus the self replication, and a generally different type of structure/construction, based on more of “build it how you can” basis.

Why do you even need such a device?

Many reasons actually !

  • For more and more of my projects, i have been needing specific parts which are either not easily obtainable , too expensive, or simply do not exist (things of my own design etc).
  • Building such a machine teaches about a lot of different fields: stepper motor control, mechanical engineering, specific programming etc
  • You might have seen me mention my interests in biology and biochemistry and bioinformatics :there has been a lot of research going on in printing replacement organic tissue or even organs! no , i kid you not : here is a video about this aspect of 3d printing : depending on how things go, this is definitely an area i will explore

How Doboz came to life :An Iterative process:

The design and construction of the “Doboz” repstrap took many months, went through different redesigns.

Software tools :

After using a pygtk based, home brew software solution for the host side gui, i recently finished a first draft of a client-server , web based interface :Doboz-Web

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