3D Printer Father’s Day Pop-up Card

Sunday, June 16th, 2013
6-16-2013 3D Printer Father's Day Pop-up CardAll of my daughters delight in making hand made cards. Wendy especially likes to design and engineer hand made pop-up cards. This year, Wendy surprised me with a 3D Printer pop-up card to commemorate my homebuilt RepStrap 3D printer that has been sitting on our kitchen table for the past several months.

Click on the images to see the card and compare it to the actual printer.

6-16-2013 3D Printer Father's Day Pop-up Card - Daddy's RepStrap 6-16-2013 3D Printer Father's Day Pop-up Card Inside

Eric’s RepStrap 3D Printer Trainer

Thursday, April 18th, 2013
I saw my first 3D printer almost 8 years ago and I blogged about it calling it "The Ultimate PC Accessory". In the years since, I've watched with excitement as the prices for assembled machines tumbled and as the build-it-yourself self-replicating "RepRap" movement led by  Adrian Bowyer emerged.

What excites me about this, aside from the possibilities of robotics and additive manufacturing, is the grass roots nature of the 3D printing community. It reminds me of my early start with home built computers.

A few months ago, I got to play with a MakerBot at a client's office. I was hooked. So, I set out to build myself a "3D Printer Trainer" using whatever parts I had on hand; this is referred to as building a "RepStrap".
Eric's RepStrap 3D Printer In Progress 4-17-2013
I began to build my RepStrap 3D printer from scratch using as few purchased components as possible -- no specific plans or kits, just inspiration from many creative people and designs on the internet. Many of the parts are overkill or the wrong size but the RepStrap concept gives me the freedom to do that. I'm not too concerned about precision or build volume right now.  I just want it to move on my command.

Once the hardware is complete, I intend to use it to teach myself the entire 3D printing workflow and tool chain -- from concept to design to configuration to print. Then, when I have some actual experience under my belt -- and more time -- I will take it all apart and start fresh with a new and improved design. I have only had a few hours each week to invest in this project but you can see that it is already starting to take shape.

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