Monday, April 18, 2011


Rewriting history

Erik, of course, has done a superb job of estimating the World population of RepRaps together with RepRap-derived machines like MakerBots and 3D-Systems/BfBs.

But I was recently asked for the history of just the RepRap population. I, of course, replied that - like the other 7 billion of you - I didn't have a clue. They then asked for a guess. Well. I can guess as effectively as anyone else, so here's what I said:

The numbers in [brackets] are estimates at the numbers of working RepRaps in the
world. Only the first of these is certain...

Spring 2007 - The first RepRap Darwin was finished. Its RP parts were made in
a Stratasys Dimension.


During that summer we made four or five sets of parts for the machine in the
Stratasys and sent them to RepRap team members round the world.

30 September 2007 - Vik Olliver in New Zealand finished the second Darwin.


Around Christmas 2007 - A number of people start to make wooden and lasercut
copies of Darwin. The Bath RepRap Lab also supplied a Stratasys-printed set of
Darwin parts to Ian Adkins of Bits from Bytes, who created silicone moulds from
them and started selling Darwin copies made by PU moulding.


February 21, 2008 - Zach Smith (now also of MakerBot) gets his Darwin working.


February 22, 2008 - Ponoko have a lasercut version of Darwin.

Spring 2008 - Lots of the wooden and moulded Darwin-type Repstraps are working,
and people start using them to print RepRaps.

April 2008 - Nophead starts printing Darwin parts on his Repstrap Hydraraptor.


29 May 2008 - Vik Olliver's Darwin has made a full set of parts for another
Darwin; these are assembled in New Zealand and finally tested when he visits at
Bath University in the UK. This is the first true RepRap replication.


Summer 2009 - RepRap Mendel introduced.


Around this time Nophead, I, and many others went into serious production
selling reprapped sets of parts for RepRaps made in RepRap machines on Ebay etc.

Summer 2010


Spring 2011

Nophead alone has made over 100 RepRaps for other people. I have made over 50.


That's my recollection. But the RepRap crowd is an especially wise one, so all corrections and additions would be most welcome in the comments to this post...


This comment has been removed by the author.
I made a graph of this data
You are free to use and show this images.
In March 2011, Metrix Create:Space produced over 50 sets of clonedel parts and sent them all over the world. We also sent out molds to hackerspaces and reprap shops to enable others to produce similar or greater numbers of machines.

We're starting to see these builds come together locally and on blogs. This should add a large number of repraps to the pile.

There is some question as to whether or not a clonedel is a reprap or a repstrap, but it is a slight modification of the prusa mendel design, printable, and capable of printing offspring that share all of the non-printed parts. The masters were 3D printed, but then cold cast to speed production. I suppose it is a matter of semantics.

Also, with the addition of a paste extruder, you can print a two part fast set urethane, and print a copy of the machine in its native material.

Regardless, it should probably be included in this list.
It looks like our "doubling time" is 3-4 months then, extrapolating dangerously from a small data set while feeling unwell...

Vik :v)
What I would be really interested, is how many people abandonned (or even sold) their machine.

That could be measured the amount of plastic sold by each big resellers.

I do suspect the picture is not so positive, and I believe the reprap popularity reached its maximum.

So I think a true metric would be how much tonne of plastic is consumed by each month by all reprap users combined.

I do believe this amount would be constant in the last 3-4 months.

But its a guess only. And I dont know how to verify it.

But seeing thingiverse "Who's making What?" it seems like the amount of people who are actually printing is pretty constant if not decreasing in the last months.

Also publishing the statistics would help too. How many visitors/month (or hits/day).

I think the RepRap community is growing al the time; the numbers of the website would make more clear, the number of users in the wiki, the pageviews and the edits in the wiki. I posted a wiki article on the reprap wiki
So, how many years until world domination? ;-)
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