Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Custom G-code Generation with Mecode

If you've ever wanted to hard-code gcode but still retain some scripting flexibility (for art, science, or engineering), Jack Minardi just posted a custom g-code generation package he's been working on... it looks great.

Checkout the RepRap wiki entry and
also the github repo with instructions

This could be a big win for 3d printing sacrificial inks like sugars and pluronics where each extruded filament position needs to be placed with precise (x,y,z) coordinates. And for arcs and meanders, there are built-in functions too! Very exciting. From the Github README:
To use, simply instantiate the G object and use its methods to trace your desired tool path.
from mecode import G
g = G()
g.move(10, 10) # move 10mm in x and 10mm in y
g.arc(x=10, y=5, radius=20, direction='CCW') # counterclockwise arc with a radius of 5
g.meander(5, 10, spacing=1) # trace a rectangle meander with 1mm spacing between passes
g.abs_move(x=1, y=1) # move the tool head to position (1, 1)
g.home() # move the tool head to the origin (0, 0)

We got a chance to meet Jack at MRRF and everyone had a great time. Jack Minardi is currently a Research Fellow at Lewis Lab at Harvard.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Join us at 2014 Midwest RepRap Festival (MRRF), Goshen, Indiana, USA

I'm really looking forward to this!!


The 2014 Midwest RepRap Festival in Elkhart County Indiana is the place to be March 14-16th. This event is totally FREE to come and attend, there are no tickets, no entry fees, just come hang out all weekend and hang out with other 3D printer guys and gals, but please fill out the RSVP form by following the link above so we know how many people to expect. This event will feature build-events, guest speakers and more!

Highlights of the event:

STATE OF REPRAP Come hear Josef Prusa speak on the state of Reprap.
TEST AND TUNE Experts will be on hand to help you troubleshoot issues or take your prints to the next level!  The event is FULL of people who want to see everyone become an expert.  Whether it’s a simple question about a software setting, a new mechanical design, recommendations on where to go to get into reprap or more, don’t hesitate to ask anyone at the event.
MEET THE MAKERS  Meet some of the big names in RepRap, like MaxBots (Mendel MAX dev), Josef Prusa (Prusa Mendel/i3 and more), Logxen (Smoothieboard Dev) and many more
CRAZY NEW REPRAPS  Nicolas Seward (RepRap WALLY, SIMPSON, LISA) will be showing off his newest reprap creations, and talking about the unique features of his designs
BUILD EVENTS  More to come soon on Build events ….
3D PRINTING CHALLENGES  See some of the most difficult prints take shape over the course of the weekend, and some fun printing challenges too, like the hand-fed extruder print challenge

Monday, December 02, 2013


RS Components distributing RepRaps

This blog is for the RepRap Project, and so I do not normally post information here about the activities of our company, RepRapPro Ltd.  See our company blog for that sort of thing.

No.  The reason for this post is that from today a seriously major international company - RS Components, the world’s largest distributor of electronics and
maintenance products - will be stocking and selling completely open-source RepRap kits.  And in the future they hope to be selling components for RepRaps.  In particular they want to sell vitamins-only kits so that people can print their own RepRaps.

For more details see RS's blog post here, and, of course, their catalogue here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Heated Piezo for Jetting Wax (and other stuff)

I'd just like to draw everyone's attention to this really nice RepRap heated (ink)jet head by Mike Alden, shown here printing wax.

Details are on the RepRap Wiki here.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013


2013 AMRI Fellowships Wrap-Up and Final Presentations

Thanks to all our supporters near and far, AMRI 2013 summer Fellowships were a tremendous success!

We have launched the new AMRI website at AMRInstitute.org and will be populating it with documentation and more formal write-ups of each Fellow over the next month or so.

Read More about AMRI at Rice University here.
Rice also did a great video about what we've been up to:

You can also watch the 2013 AMRI Fellows final presentations via this youtube playlist:

HUGE thanks to all of our sponsors and supporters (especially all those in the #reprap IRC channel)!! We couldn't have done it without you!

We look forward to continuing the conversation about what AMRI is and what it should become. Let us know your thoughts!

Thursday, August 08, 2013


Announcing AMRI: Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute

UPDATE: AMRI FINAL PRESENTATIONS ARE ABOUT TO BEGIN! FRIDAY AUGUST 23rd, 4 pm central time USA -- UStream link is HERE: http://ustre.am/13UpB

We will also take questions via #reprap IRC channel.

We are starting an experiment.

Will it succeed? If we knew ahead of time, it wouldn't be an experiment, now would it? :D

For a while now, several of us have been thinking of a way to positively and constructively reinforce the unbelievable talent in the #reprap community, focus thinking, structure projects, and landscape a general framework in which progress can be made.

So today I'm pleased to announce the launch of AMRI: Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute.

Inspired by Google Summer of Code and work going on at Blender Foundation, AMRI seeks a return to some of the ideals behind the RepRap Research Foundation. The goal is to provide breakthrough mentorship, infrastructure, and research funding for promising young makers to pursue their interests using the scientific method.

The summer fellowship program currently has two components:
1) engineering design challenge
optionally followed by:
2) fundamental scientific investigation (pending the success of the engineering design challenge)

The end goal is unreservedly profit, if by "profit" you mean: gaining knowledge. Financial gains can be important, though they are secondary considerations at AMRI.

Here, we are taking a concerted effort to apply the scientific method to challenges in advanced manufacturing.

We have four outstanding fellows and amazing research projects about to get underway here at Rice University:

This year, AMRI runs from August 1st-August 31st. We have already started. This fellowship program is is an experiment. A soft-launch. We have some makers that were personally invited to take part in our experiment, sketch out research projects critical to Science, and make progress.

Cool, so who's paying for this?
We have secured sponsorship so far from Rice University, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Ultimachine, Ultimaker, MakerGear, and SeeMeCNC. Thank you all! We are open to additional sponsorship... Contact us! 
We are taking tax-deductible donations of any amount through Rice University's 501(c)3 here. The charge to your account will read "RICE-IT WEB SRVC"
Donations will be used to help support the current projects, and any excess funds then organized to launch AMRI publicly and openly for Summer 2014 projects. We are currently running AMRI strictly through donations.
READ MORE after the jump...

Read more »

Friday, August 02, 2013


New open source slicer: CuraEngine!

"Cura is the name of a divine figure whose name means "Care" or "Concern""
Source: Wikipedia

Ever heard of Cura? Besides a divine figure, it's a 3D printing solution that is meant to be useful and usable to both beginning and advanced 3D printer users. David Braam is full-time developer of Cura, at Ultimaker. We recently released version 13.06, which was a major update. Compared to the previous version it looked... well ...exactly the same. But on the back-end, the engine that generates the toolpath from the mesh-surface model (e.g. the STL or AMF) was replaced by a new engine, written entirely from scratch.

The short summary is for this initial release:
The main goals for this new engine were to be able to implement innovative features that improve the quality of 3D printed objects, and to create a code structure that encourages further development. An intermediate goal was to release it with the baseline feature set that is common in slicing engines, including the ability to robustly handle many kinds of (problematic) models and generate support structures.

A nice side effect of the new slicer is that it turns out to be fast, really fast. We decided to do something unconventional: removing the "Prepare for printing" button from Cura's interface entirely. It will just start slice the model in the background (with a low-priority). If you change the layer height or any other setting, it will just restart. If you don't change settings, it may already have finished before you're thinking to save the resulting G-Code to an SD card or print directly through USB. An extra, pretty useful, side-effect is that you can inspect the generated toolpath, change the settings and see the new toolpath preview appear automatically and quickly, without pushing a button.

Because Cura is developed to work with the Ultimaker and most other RepRap-based designs, we'd like to ask you what you think of the new engine. Also, because, like Cura (source), the Engine is released under the Affero GPL version 3, we'd love to see anyone benefit from this new solution and possibly help us improve it further.

Below is a 45-minute presentation on the Cura release, focusing mostly on the new Cura Engine.

Below is the interview with David by Andrew of 3DHacker.com:

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