Thursday, 9 February 2012

About the lego repstrap project

We decided to build a reprap a couple of years ago; at the time I shared an office space with 3 friends, so "we" means Matt, Nick, Travis and myself (Dave). We built the electronics and started making a cartesian bot, but got distracted by other things...

Recently I retrieved all the lego (pretty much the only toy I wanted or got for my entire childhood) from my Dad's loft and decided to put it to use in a repstrap machine. My hope was that using lego would be easier than building all the mechanical parts from metal and wood. I was encouraged by some posts such as but surprised that no-one seems to have yet built a reprap / repstrap from lego.

Soon I realised why. Lego has many advantages, but for building a structure the size of a reprap you need a vast quantity of lego. To reduce play and the counter the natural plasticity of lego beams, you need even more lego. To have a large working area .. yet more lego.

However, I'm now motivated by the idea that this will be (as far as I can tell) the world's first EVER lego rep(strap/rap). As a result my objectives have solidified as follows:

- to make the lego machine a fully functional reprap (not merely a bodgy repstrap) with a precision of 0.5mm in all axes
- to build all moving, complex mechanical parts from lego; this includes the extruder drive, and 3 axes of motion
- not to damage or modify the lego parts
- to have a working area of at least 15x15x15cm
- to only use the lego parts I happen to own already (well, I might buy one or two bits if really needed)

My electronics are the old Darwin set (Stepper motor 1.1). The design for the machine will be based on the cartesian bot that has platform moving in X and Y and a printing head that moves in Z only.

Enough for now..

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