Friday, November 02, 2007


RepRap Part Lister

One of the unique things to RepRap, and open source hardware in general is the fact that we're dealing with real, physical objects. Instead of having library dependencies in order to 'build' our 'software', we have parts needed to build our hardware.

A simple example: the opto endstop needs a PCB, a couple resistors, the optical switch, and some wires. In the software world, settling dependencies is fairly easy: download and install the right software. In the physical world, you need to get your hands on the real part.

Thats where the part list generator comes in. We have all (or most) of the required parts for the RepRap project stored in a Google spreadsheet. This gives us an easy way to store, update, and show the parts required for any individual module. However, it becomes a pain to try and figure out how many nuts or bolts one needs to construct a Darwin.

The parts list generator takes this google doc, and transforms it into a MySQL database. It can then generate aggregate part lists for any combination of modules you'd like. We've even taken the time to enter part numbers from a variety of manufacturers. From there, we can do nice things for you like generate unique part lists by manufacturer. We've even taken it a step further to allow you to order all the parts you need from Amazon in one click, or to copy and paste a part list into Mouser to make it super easy to buy the electronic components needed to build the circuit boards.

As always, this software is all 100% open source. You can browse the source if you want. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, but I'd love to incorporate more code contributions or have more parts from more part manufacturers.

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