Friday, September 12, 2008


Off to Italy

I'm off to CStem 2008 in Turin, who've kindly invited me to speak on RepRap. If you're in those parts next week, drop in!

They also wanted me to bring a working RepRap Darwin to demonstrate. What followed says something interesting about the cost of rapid prototyping. We looked into the amount we'd have to pay to transport the machine from Bath to Turin (it's not too heavy, but is bulky and delicate). It turned out to be both more expensive and more troublesome to do that than to buy and ship a RepRap electronics kit from the RRRF and a Bits From Bytes Silver RepStrap kit to Turin direct. So that's what we did. The CStem people have built and tested the electronics already, and are putting the laser-cut kit together as I type. When I arrive I'll help them with the last stages.

Mark you, last week we bought a whole working lathe for my University lab that cost less than a single RP polymer cartridge from a well-known RP machine manufacturer. How fortunate that it is possible to build all the RP parts of a RepRap machine from two such cartridges and still have quite a bit left...

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Interesting that it's cheaper to "teleport" a machine than to ship it.
Do I gather from what you are saying that once you have a Darwin assembled that you are very hesitant to break it down to its parts again?
Not hesitant at all, no. I've done it several times with our machines without a hitch. But it does take a while to put back together, and my time in Turin is tight.
Yes, and consider what happened to Son of Darwin. Plus, this way, you're leaving a Repstrap behind you. Kinda like Johnny Appleseed.
Check out the prices for the same lathes etc from ArcEurotrade.....

They are manufactured by the same folk in China (Sieg).
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