Monday, February 11, 2008

RepRap is now half-way to replication

Vik Olliver has made good progress (1, 2, 3) on the goal of self-replication for the RepRap, having now been able to use a RepRap to fabricate half the RepRap's parts.

It's interesting that you can see the size of the volume pixels Vik is working with. These pieces were printed with polylactic acid, I believe.

Unrelated but cool: Kovio is a non-hobbyist company working on a process to inexpensively print working transistors. Early applications will include smart cards, later you'll see wall-sized displays.

Also unrelated but also cool: Fernando Muñiz has been working with UV-cured resins. This will work a bit like the CandyFab, except the uncured resin is still a liquid so under-support structures are still required. Interesting, I'm not sure if it's better or worse than the FDM approach used by RepRap, Fab@Home, and Tommelise. Also, I don't have any idea how environmentally benign these resins are; it's hard to imagine they're as green as polylactic acid.

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