Well, I think that if you are here, and work with 3d printing, when you are doing your research, for sure you’ll find RepRap and start from there, right?
RepRap is a major project about 3D printing and open source ideology around the 3D world.
Today I want to walk through a little of history and why it’s important to have open source/free software ideology in the 3d printing world.
RepRap Project – Adrian Bowyer
The RepRap project started in 2005 by Adrian Bowyer – “Mister RepRap”, when the patent about this technology expired. 3DPrintings isn’t a new technology, history dates that the first model of stereolithography printing emerged in 1984. The main idea around RepRap projects is to produce 3DPrinters that can auto-replicate most of the parts itself. And in 2006, the RepRap 0.2 successfully printed the first part of itself and in 2008, the first 3d model was printed by an end-user. Currently, the printer more replicated and customized of the 67 printers that are listed on RepRap website, is the Prusa Mendel, the model created by Josef Průša, that was disponibility to the public in 2011 and had a lot of development since.
But I’m (Lays Rodrigues) here to talk about the importance of RepRap… The open source ideology for many years was a thing only from the software developers, but since RepRap, now it’s applied to the world of 3DPrinting too.
The term open-source hardware is defined here (click), most of the 3DPrinters have its project open under the GNU – General Public License, that gives to the user the possibility to change the structure and name, but you need to leave the project open, so everyone have access. And that was the key that made the 3DPrinting more accessible, cheaper and easier to build. The RepRap project is the path that lead to the maker’s world that we are having today and years to come.
Lately, I’m working with the open source ideology daily, with the development of my own printer host and other softwares related to the community that I participate in. However, we have a lots of programs around the world that are open source, programs where you can access the code and contribute or make it better (github has many of those). For example in the 3DPrinter world we have the slicer named Cura, from Ultimaker, until months ago we had the Repetier Host with their code open, also we have Blender, a 3D Modeling program that follows the same path. And if you ignore the importance of RepRap projects and the open source ideology in the 3dprinting world, I need to say that you are doing wrong. A few days ago I watched a video from the 3DPrinting Nerd channel, where Joel made a review of a printer that has all their project closed: the printer and the slicer, and the filament used is a 3.0mm(The most common is 1.75mm). At the end I though: It’s a hell of a throwback. Why, in 2016, do we have a company with a printer that locks the user to their company? Profits obviously.. But still they will fall under the demands and expectations of the community. I cant imagine a company that would survive for long doing business like this. But I could be wrong, ..or ..not.
The 3DPrinting Community around the world will continue to grow, thanks to the open source, and all the maker’s that give their time to make new printers, improvements in the firmware’s(Marlin and Repetier), new kind of filaments and ways to print all kind of things.
That’s all folks! =) Dont forget to check my projects –> Here. And Please write something in our 3D Printing Forum to help us get it started! Thank You!! I promisse ill answer! youll find quite a few DIY builds that you can buy.