Friday, September 09, 2011


A Tipping Point of Print Quality (Open Source for the win)

On the left is the Venetian Lion by Tony Buser printed by Prusajr on a $550 to assemble RepRap Prusa, on the right is the same model printed on a Stratasys uPrint+.

Its official, RepRap has now surpassed the commercial Fused deposition modeling 3d printers in machine affordability, price for filiment, and NOW build quality.

To be specific the machine that Prusajr used to do this was a RepRap Prusa, with a Makergear Plastruder, Felt bearings on the Y axis (yes normal clothing felt), Brass on the X axis, and LM8UU on the Z axis for the hardware.  On the electronics/firmware end he was using Sprinter Firmware, on Ramps Electronics, sliced by Skeinforge and hosted by Pronterface Host software, and printed onto a PCB build plate.  So basically nothing more than a standard run of the mill RepRap.

Of course we have always had some people who had epic build quality for years now (See Nophead), the big change is that the barriers to entry have dropped significantly:

Thanks the the new Volumetric Skeinforge (Skeinforge 41), and the fork of Skeinforge called SFact by Action68 (Ahmet Cem TURAN ) even makes the slicing of the models straight forward.  As an example:

I did these on my Makergear Prusa after only changing 1 LINE in the Sfact setup, and that was just to tell Sfact the diameter of the filament I was using, everything else was handled by the Skeinforge back end and Sfact front end in Sfact.

Again, as an Administrator with RepRap I want to thank all the developers out there around the world, for helping use reach this milestone.  We will continue to get cheaper, easier, faster, higher in quality, and more common through your hard work, thanks for all you do.

Any comparison of build time?
@nophead If I recollect the one printed by uPrint took 7hrs to print. I printed this head in like 90minutes, it would probably take similar time. I printed the lion on 0.25mm layers in about 2.5hrs.

More important point is, that even if I print at freakishly detailed resolution as I did with yoda I can print simultaneously on 30printers for the same price and be orders of magnitude faster :-D
Would it be possible to know your setting? Especially, your main feedrate & perimeter feedrate
Don't forget the dimension can actually print large objects without warp, and has real support material.

I honestly can't agree reprap has better quality than uPrint now. Maybe in a few simple cases, but overall we still have a long way to go. At least a lot of the battle is in software now, though.
Hopefully the next tipping point will be one of usability, where anyone can install the software and start printing without first becoming an expert.

I started printing with a Rapman, and it is a breeze compared to getting a RepRap going.

Anyway, back to Python...
the orange one appears only to be a head?
I printed full lion better then uPrint looong time ago I was just in hurry this time ;-)
i think you can do much better with repraps:
layer height of 0.021 mm
Flickr set of the lion done yesterday within 3h.
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