Printing More Than Plastic

reprap laser printer

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a RepRap machine is only for printing plastic, like ABS or PLA, but that would be a big mistake.

Of course, the original RepRap concept was to create a machine that could produce a clone of itself using additive techniques like melting and depositing plastic in layers.

However, the muscles of every functional RepRap machine are actually a high precision, computer controlled, 3 axis positioning table and head.

If you mount a plastics extruder on the head then you can do the classic additive deposition that made RepRap and it’s derivatives, like the MakerBot series of 3D printers so incredibly well known in a short period of time.

Replace the plastics extruder with a different head that can handle other materials, like chocolate frosting, and you have a totally different production or prototyping machine. Of course you need to make some adjustments and programming changes.

Mount a reasonably powered Laser ‘pointer’ on the head, like LaserUnicorn did in the article linked below, and SHAZAM! – you can burn patterns into wood or cut paper with it.

We’re just discovering the potential of this amazing yet totally affordable technology. 

Via: LaserUnicorn – MakerBot Industries

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Avid technologist with a passion for 3D printing, RepRap, and robots of all types and sizes.

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