RepRap starts making copies of itself

Rapid prototyping concept gives birth to ‘daughter’ parts

A rapid prototyping concept machine has moved a step closer to its stated aim – by making copies of itself.

The machine – dubbed RepRap by its originator, Bath academic Adrian Bowyer – is designed to produce 3D printed parts such as door handles and coat hooks. But Vik Olliver, a RepRap team member based in New Zealand, has now managed to ‘print’ a set of RepRap components – and assemble them together into a ‘daughter’ machine.

For now, the project is likely to grow as a method of ‘printing’ bespoke products.

“Most people run a professional-quality print works, photographic lab and CD-pressing plant in their own house, courtesy of their home PC. Why shouldn’t they also run their own desktop factory?” said Bowyer.

RepRap was featured in Eureka’s January 2007 issue, and has been exhibited at the Cheltenham Science Festival this week.

Lou Reade

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